Keenan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

Irish names tend to vary widely in their spelling and overall form. The original Gaelic form of the name Keenan is O Cianain.

Early Origins of the Keenan family

The surname Keenan was first found in County Fermanagh (Irish: Fear Manach) in the southwestern part of Northern Ireland, Province of Ulster, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

Important Dates for the Keenan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Keenan research. Another 129 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1600 and 1659 are included under the topic Early Keenan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Keenan Spelling Variations

The Middle Ages saw a great number of spelling variations for surnames common to the Irish landscape. One reason for these variations is the fact that surnames were not rigidly fixed by this period. The following variations for the name Keenan were encountered in the archives: Keenan, O'Keenan and others.

Early Notables of the Keenan family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Keenan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Keenan migration to the United States

A great mass of Ireland's native population left the island in the 19th century, seeking relief from various forms of social, religious, and economic discrimination. This Irish exodus was primarily to North America. If the migrants survived the long ocean journey, many unfortunately would find more discrimination in the colonies of British North America and the fledgling United States of America. These newly arrived Irish were, however, wanted as a cheap source of labor for the many large agricultural and industrial projects that were essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest nations in the western world. Early immigration and passenger lists indicate many people bearing the Keenan name:

Keenan Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Lawrence Keenan, who settled in Maryland in 1776
Keenan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Mary Keenan, aged 24, who landed in New York, NY in 1804 [1]
  • Dennis Keenan, who landed in New York, NY in 1811 [1]
  • Charles Keenan, aged 26, who arrived in Maryland in 1812 [1]
  • Michael Keenan, aged 30, who arrived in New York in 1812 [1]
  • Patrick Keenan, aged 31, who landed in New York in 1812 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Keenan migration to Canada

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Keenan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Edward Keenan, aged 27, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Neptune" in 1833
  • Hugh Keenan, aged 24, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Betsy Heron" from Belfast, Ireland
  • Owen Keenan, aged 22, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Betsy Heron" from Belfast, Ireland
  • Eleanor Keenan, aged 32, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1838 aboard the brig "Susan Maria Brooke" from Donegal, Ireland
  • Bessey Keenan, aged 21, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1838 aboard the brig "Susan Maria Brooke" from Donegal, Ireland
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Keenan migration to Australia

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Keenan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Ann Keenan, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Inconstant" in 1849 [2]
  • Catherine Keenan, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Inconstant" in 1849 [2]
  • Eliza Keenan, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Inconstant" in 1849 [2]
  • Catherine Keenan, aged 18, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1850 aboard the ship "Trafalgar" [3]
  • Mary Keenan, aged 21, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1850 aboard the ship "Trafalgar" [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Keenan migration to New Zealand

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Keenan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Keenan, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Inchinnan" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 27th May 1852 [4]
  • Mr. John Keenan, (b. 1837), aged 21, British labourer travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Indiana" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 28th November 1858 [4]
  • Mr. Michael Keenan, (b. 1842), aged 19, Irish labourer, from County Fermanagh travelling from London aboard the ship "Sebastopol" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 14th December 1861 [5]
  • Miss Margaret Keenan, (b. 1837), aged 25, British housemaid travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 26th December 1862 [4]
  • Mr. John Keenan, (b. 1842), aged 22, British mason travelling from Gravesend, UK aboard the ship "British Empire" arriving in Lyttelton, South Island, New Zealand on 6th September 1864 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Keenan (post 1700)

  • Will Keenan (b. 1974), American film producer, actor, director, writer and stuntman
  • Maynard James Keenan (b. 1964), born James Herbert Keenan, an American rock singer, songwriter, musician and record producer
  • John Keenan (1840-1906), United States Army soldier, recipient of the Medal of Honor, for his actions in the Indian Wars of the western United States
  • Joe Keenan (b. 1958), American five-time Primetime Emmy Award-winning screenwriter, television producer and novelist, best known for his work on the television sitcom "Frasier"
  • Harry George Keenan (1867-1944), American silent film actor who starred in 45 silent films
  • Edward L. Keenan (b. 1935), Andrew W. Mellon professor emeritus of history at Harvard University
  • Don C. Keenan (b. 1951), American trial lawyer and author, the head partner in the Keenan Law Firm, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Barbara Milano Keenan (b. 1950), American judge on United States Court of Appeals
  • Paul Keenan (1955-1986), American actor, best remembered for his long-time role on the television daytime serial 'Days of our Lives'
  • Brian Edmund Peter Keenan (1943-1985), American musician, drummer for The Chambers Brothers
  • ... (Another 10 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Historic Events for the Keenan family

Air New Zealand Flight 901
  • Miss Dianne Keenan (1956-1979), New Zealander Stewardess, from Auckland, New Zealand working aboard the Air New Zealand sightseeing Flight 901 when it flew into Mount Erebus; she died in the crash [6]
HMAS Sydney II
  • Mr. Francis Bernard Keenan (1916-1941), Australian Stoker from Carlisle, Western Australia, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II and died in the sinking [7]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Robert J Keenan (b. 1917), Irish Stoker 2nd Class serving for the Royal Navy from Innisrush, County Derry, Ireland, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [8]

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Citations

  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The INCONSTANT the Voyage - 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Inconstant.htm
  3. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) TRAFALGAR 1850. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1850Trafalgar-March.htm
  4. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  5. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  6. ^ Mount Erebus, Memorial, Roll of Remembrance (Retrieved 2018, February 21st). Retrieved from http://www.erebus.co.nz/memorialandawards/rollofremembrance.aspx
  7. ^ HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from http://www.findingsydney.com/roll.asp
  8. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
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