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

Where did the Irish McKeegan family come from? What is the Irish McKeegan family crest and coat of arms? When did the McKeegan family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the McKeegan family history?

Hundreds of years ago, the Gaelic name used by the McKeegan family in Ireland was Mac Aodhagain, which means son of Aodh, a personal name usually Anglicized as Hugh.


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 McKeegan family name. Variations found include Egan, Eagan, Keegan, MacEgan, Kegan, Keagan and many more.

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.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McKeegan research. Another 273 words(20 lines of text) covering the year 1172 is included under the topic Early McKeegan History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early McKeegan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


During the 19th century thousands of impoverished Irish families made the long journey to British North America and the United States. These people were leaving a land that had become beset with poverty, lack of opportunity, and hunger. In North America, they hoped to find land, work, and political and religious freedoms. Although the majority of the immigrants that survived the long sea passage did make these discoveries, it was not without much perseverance and hard work: by the mid-19th century land suitable for agriculture was short supply, especially in British North America, in the east; the work available was generally low paying and physically taxing construction or factory work; and the English stereotypes concerning the Irish, although less frequent and vehement, were, nevertheless, present in the land of freedom, liberty, and equality for all men. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. Research into passenger and immigration lists has brought forth evidence of the early members of the McKeegan family in North America:

McKeegan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Hugh McKeegan, aged 32, who settled in America, in 1896

McKeegan Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Cathrine McKeegan, aged 22, who landed in America from Derry, in 1900
  • Daniel McKeegan, who settled in America from Antrim, in 1900
  • Daniel McKeegan, aged 23, who landed in America from Antrim, in 1906
  • Hugh McKeegan, aged 22, who emigrated to America from Mushebdall, Ireland, in 1909
  • Enias McKeegan, aged 19, who emigrated to the United States from Cushendall, Ireland, in 1910

McKeegan Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century

  • Hugh McKeegan, aged 38, who settled in Bridge, Ontario, Canada, in 1910

McKeegan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Mary McKeegan, aged 12, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duke of Edinburgh" in 1873


  • Karl McKeegan, Irish hurler, former captain of Antrim's hurling team
  • Michael Robert McKeegan (b. 1971), Irish bassist with the rock band, Therapy?


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.


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  1. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  2. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  3. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
  4. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  6. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  7. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992. Print.
  8. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  9. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  10. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  11. ...

The McKeegan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McKeegan 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 27 April 2012 at 11:38.

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