Show ContentsKeenen 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 Keenen is O Cianain.

Early Origins of the Keenen family

The surname Keenen 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.

Early History of the Keenen family

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

Keenen Spelling Variations

Before widespread literacy came to Ireland, a name was often recorded under several different variations during the life of its bearer. Accordingly, numerous spelling variations were revealed in the search for the origin of the name Keenen family name. Variations found include Keenan, O'Keenan and others.

Early Notables of the Keenen family (pre 1700)

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

United States Keenen migration to the United States +

To escape the religious and political discrimination they experienced primarily at the hands of the English, thousands of Irish left their homeland in the 19th century. These migrants typically settled in communities throughout the East Coast of North America, but also joined the wagon trains moving out to the Midwest. Ironically, when the American War of Independence began, many Irish settlers took the side of England, and at the war's conclusion moved north to Canada. These United Empire Loyalists, were granted land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula. Other Irish immigrants settled in Newfoundland, the Ottawa Valley, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, however, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America and Australia. Many of those numbers, however, did not live through the long sea passage. These Irish settlers to North America were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. Irish settlers made an inestimable contribution to the building of the New World. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the Irish name Keenen or a variant listed above, including:

Keenen Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Patrick Keenen, aged 22, who arrived in New York in 1812 [1]
  • Peter Keenen, who landed in New York in 1832 [1]

  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) on Facebook