MacKeigane History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Hundreds of years ago, the Gaelic name used by the MacKeigane family in Ireland was Mac Aodhagain, which means "son of Aodh, son of fire," a personal name usually Anglicized as Hugh. A Brehon family originally of Uí Maine, which settled in Ormond. [1]

The family claim descent from Saint and Bishop Eoghan (d. 618), "of Ardsratha, now Ardstraw, in the county of Tyrone and diocese of Derry. Descended from Ugaine Mor on the father's side he was thus connected by kindred with the chieftains of Leinster, while through his mother, Muindech, he claimed relationship with the Ulster families." [2]

Another source confirms the name descends from "the cineal Eoghain, [who] were the ' genus' or progeny of Eoghan, a great Irish chief contemporary with St. Patrick. The name is Anglicized to Owen and Eugene. " [3]

Early Origins of the MacKeigane family

The surname MacKeigane was first found in County 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 very ancient times.

The ancient Egans were lawyers of Ui Maine, a region which is today called Galway, Roscommon and Offaly. The earliest surviving Irish law manuscript, In Senchas Már, was written prior to 1350 at a school (patronized by Mac Aodhagain) at Duniry, near Loughrea.

Early History of the MacKeigane family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacKeigane research. Another 137 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1172 and 1740 are included under the topic Early MacKeigane History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

MacKeigane Spelling Variations

Many spelling variations of the surname MacKeigane can be found in the archives. One reason for these variations is that ancient scribes and church officials recorded names as they were pronounced, often resulting in a single person being recorded under several different spellings. The different spellings that were found include Egan, Eagan, Keegan, MacEgan, Kegan, Keagan and many more.

Early Notables of the MacKeigane family (pre 1700)

Another 38 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early MacKeigane Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the MacKeigane family

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 MacKeigane name: Rev. Michael Egan who became Bishop of Philadelphia in 1790. Many other Egans settled in this city during the 19th century.



The MacKeigane Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Fortitudine et prudentia
Motto Translation: With fortitude and prudence.


  1. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
  2. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.


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