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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: Irish, Scottish

Where did the Irish McKee family come from? When did the McKee family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the McKee family history?

As a native Irish name, McKee is derived from the Gaelic "Mag Aodha," or "son of Hugh," while others of the name in Ireland, are ultimately of Scottish origin.

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Spelling variations of this family name include: Magee, Macgee, Mcgee, McGahee, McGhee and others.

First found in along the border of counties Donegal and Tyrone (Irish:Tír Eoghain), the ancient territory of the O'Neills, now in the Province of Ulster, central Northern Ireland, where they are thought to be descended from the Colla Uais. The McKee surname has also been long associated with County Antrim, because of the peninsula at Lough Larne, known as the Island Magee which was part of their early Ulster territories. Before the Norman invasion in the 12th century, a Magee was chief of a Sept in county Westmeath. Today, the name is most common in Ulster; however, most of these bearers are of Scottish descent.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McKee research. Another 292 words(21 lines of text) covering the years 1717, 1755, 1766, 1821, 1825, 1830, 1831, 1846, 1868, 1880, and 1891 are included under the topic Early McKee History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 32 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McKee Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McKee Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Robert McKee, who arrived in New England in 1739
  • Hugh McKee, who landed in America in 1795

McKee Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Nancy McKee, aged 16, arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in 1803
  • Pat McKee, aged 14, arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in 1803
  • Agnes McKee, who landed in America in 1804
  • Andrew McKee, who landed in South Carolina in 1807
  • Gabriel McKee, who landed in America in 1811


McKee Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Jane McKee, aged 30, landed in Quebec in 1833
  • Elenor McKee arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Zephyr" in 1833
  • Anne McKee, aged 23, arrived in St John, New Brunswick in 1834
  • Mary McKee, aged 30, landed in Quebec in 1834
  • Rachael McKee, aged 4, landed in Quebec in 1834


McKee Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Hugh McKee, aged 34, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Marion"
  • Jane McKee, aged 21, a domestic servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Grand Trianon"
  • Margaret McKee, aged 18, a domestic servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Grand Trianon"
  • Mary A. McKee, aged 22, a domestic servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Grand Trianon"
  • Samuel McKee, aged 25, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Glentanner"


McKee Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • John McKee arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Queen of Beauty" in 1863
  • Louis McKee, aged 20, a farmer, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bebington" in 1876
  • William McKee, aged 8, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bebington" in 1876
  • Elizabeth McKee, aged 23, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bebington" in 1876
  • Robert McKee, aged 28, a labourer, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Caroline" in 1876


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  • Rear Admiral Andrew I. McKee (1896-1976), American submarine pioneer
  • Christopher Fulton McKee (b. 1942), American astrophysicist
  • Tywain "Ty" McKee (b. 1986), American professional basketball player
  • Hugh Wilson McKee (1844-1871), American naval officer, eponym of the USS McKee (DD-575), a Fletcher-class destroyer and the USS McKee (DD–87), a Wickes class destroyer
  • Maria Luisa McKee (b. 1964), American singer and songwriter
  • Lafayette S. "Lafe" McKee (1872-1959), American actor who appeared in over 400 films
  • Raymond McKee (1892-1984), American actor from Iowa who appeared in 173 films
  • Colonel Alexander McKee (1735-1799), Irish-born, American agent for the British Indian Department during the French and Indian War, and the American Revolutionary War, eponym of McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania
  • Brigadier-General John Lloyd McKee (1895-1963), American Assistant Commanding General 87th Division (1942-1945)
  • General William Fulton McKee (1906-1987), American Vice Chief of Staff of the US Air Force (1962-1964)

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  • Ancestors of Our Children by Wells Laflin Field.
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  1. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  3. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  4. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  5. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  6. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  7. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  8. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  9. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  10. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  11. ...


This page was last modified on 6 May 2015 at 21:40.

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