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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016


The surname Keogh originally appeared in Gaelic as "O hEochaidh" or "Mac Eochaidh," derived from an Irish personal name "Eachaidh," meaning a "horseman."

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The surname Keogh was first found in Tipperary (Irish: Thiobraid Árann), established in the 13th century in South-central Ireland, in the province of Munster, where they held a family seat from ancient times at Ballymackeogh, and were descended from the MacKeoghs who in turn were descended from their eponymous ancestor Eochaidh O'Kelly one of the ancient Kings of Ui Maine.

Pronunciation, rather than spelling, guided scribes and church officials when recording names during the Middle Ages. This practice often resulted in one person's name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations of the surname Keogh are preserved in these old documents. The various spellings of the name that were found include Hoey, O'Hoey, Hoy, Hue, Kehoe, Keogh, MacKeogh and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Keogh research. Another 273 words (20 lines of text) covering the years 1534, 1653, 1725, 1798, 1828, 1893, 1534, 1653, 1725 and 1798 are included under the topic Early Keogh History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 71 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Keogh Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The 19th century saw a great wave of Irish families leaving Ireland for the distant shores of North America and Australia. These families often left their homeland hungry, penniless, and destitute do to the policies of England. Those Irish immigrants that survived the long sea passage initially settled on the eastern seaboard of the continent. Some, however, moved north to a then infant Canada as United Empire Loyalists after ironically serving with the English in the American War of Independence. Others that remained in America later joined the westward migration in search of land. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, though, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America, and those who arrived were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. In fact, the foundations of today's powerful nations of the United Sates and Canada were to a larger degree built by the Irish. Archival documents indicate that members of the Keogh family relocated to North American shores quite early:

Keogh Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • John Keogh, who arrived in Leeward Islands in 1721
  • Mathew Keogh, who landed in America in 1795
  • Mathias Keogh, who arrived in America in 1795

Keogh Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Patrick Keogh, aged 38, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1812
  • Mary Keogh, who arrived in New York, NY in 1812
  • J Keogh, who arrived in New York, NY in 1812
  • Edward Keogh, born in county Wexford, settled at Stone Island in 1816
  • Michael Keogh, who landed in New York in 1830


Keogh Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Michael Keogh, aged 25, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Wanderer"
  • Margaret Keogh arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lady Flora" in 1851
  • Honora Keogh, aged 23, arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Wanderer" in 1851
  • Michael Keogh, aged 25, arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Wanderer" in 1851
  • Pat. Keogh, aged 35, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Chatham"


Keogh Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • John Keogh arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alfred" in 1864
  • Mary Keogh arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alfred" in 1864
  • John Keogh, aged 26, a labourer, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alfred" in 1864
  • Mary Keogh, aged 24, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alfred" in 1864
  • Patrick Keogh, aged 26, a labourer, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Reiherstieg" in 1864


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  • Martin J. Keogh, American politician, Justice of New York Supreme Court, 1897-1903, 1910-20 (2nd District 1897-1903, 9th District 1910-20)
  • Kevin Keogh, American Republican politician, Maine Republican State Chair, 1997
  • Joseph F. Keogh (1932-1996), American politician, Member of Louisiana State House of Representatives, 1964-68; State Court Judge in Louisiana, 1984-96
  • John Belfort Keogh, American politician, U.S. Vice Consul in Bradford, 1938
  • John Keogh, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Connecticut, 1916
  • James Vincent Keogh, American Democrat politician, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, 1946-50; Justice of New York Supreme Court 2nd District, 1951-58
  • Eugene James Keogh (1907-1989), American Democrat politician, lawyer; Member of New York State Assembly from Kings County 20th District, 1936
  • Edward Keogh, American Democrat politician, Member of Wisconsin State Senate, 1862-63
  • Brooks Keogh, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from North Dakota, 1960
  • Eugene James Keogh (1907-1989), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York's 11th district (1963-1967)

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  1. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  2. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
  3. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  4. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
  5. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  6. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  7. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  8. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
  9. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  10. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  11. ...

The Keogh Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Keogh Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 12 March 2016 at 06:48.

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