Keeny History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Keeny originally appeared in Gaelic as "O Cathain" or "Mac Cathain."

Early Origins of the Keeny family

The surname Keeny was first found in County Londonderry (Irish: Doire), a Northern Irish county also known as Derry, in the province of Ulster. At one time, the areas was named O'Cahan Country.

Important Dates for the Keeny family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Keeny research. Another 130 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1196, 1617, 1641, 1644 and 1819 are included under the topic Early Keeny History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Keeny 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 because the general population had to rely on local official's understanding of how their name should be spelt, hence spellings in records often changed through a person's lifetime. The following variations for the name Keeny were encountered in the archives: Keane, Kane, Kayne, Keaney, Keny, Keyne, O'Kane, O'Keane, O'Cahan, Cahan, Kean, O'Cain, McCloskey, McCluskey, McClaskey and many more.

Early Notables of the Keeny family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family at this time was Ruaidri Dall Ó Catháin ( fl. late 16th/early 17th century), an Irish harper and composer; and Echlin O'Kane, one of the most famous of all Irish Harpists. Manus O'Cahan's Regiment of Foot was a body of soldiers, many of who had fought in Europe in the early years of the Thirty Years War. McColla, and a cousin by marriage, Manus O'Cahan, were thrown together...
Another 71 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Keeny Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Keeny migration to the United States

Ireland became inhospitable for many native Irish families in the 19th centuries. Poverty, lack of opportunities, high rents, and discrimination forced thousands to leave the island for North America. The largest exodus of Irish settlers occurred with the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. For these immigrants the journey to British North America and the United States was long and dangerous and many did not live to see the shores of those new lands. Those who did make it were essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest and most powerful nations of the world. These Irish immigrants were not only important for peopling the new settlements and cities, they also provided the manpower needed for the many industrial and agricultural projects so essential to these growing nations. Immigration and passenger lists have documented the arrival of various people bearing the name Keeny to North America:

Keeny Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Keeny, who landed in New York, NY in 1816 [1]
  • Francis Keeny, who arrived in Tippecanoe County, Ind in 1837 [1]

Keeny 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:

Keeny Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Francis Keeny, (b. 1848), aged 30, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Western Monarch" arriving in New Zealand in 1879 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Keeny (post 1700)

  • Rufus D. Keeny, American politician, Member of Indiana State House of Representatives, 1849-50 [3]

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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. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  3. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 7) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
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