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An excerpt from archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

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.


The surname McKeegan 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.

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.


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


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


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. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  2. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  3. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  4. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
  5. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  6. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  7. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  8. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  9. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  10. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
  11. ...

The McKeegan Family Crest was acquired from the 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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