McKeel History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Many variations of the name McKeel have evolved since the time of its initial creation. In Gaelic it appeared as Mac Amhalghaidh or Mac Amhlaoibh. The former name denotes a son of Auley, while the later denotes a son of Auliffe or a son of Humphrey. They claim descent through the Heremon line of Irish kings. [1]

Early Origins of the McKeel family

The surname McKeel was first found in county Westmeath (Irish: An Iarmhí) in the Irish Midlands, province of Leinster, where at one time the area which is now Ballyloughnoe was once called "McGawley's Country." There is another sept named Mac Amhlaoibh in Gaelic which were a branch of the MacGuires and mainly found in County Fermanagh. This branch gave their name to Clanawley. [2]

Early History of the McKeel family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McKeel research. Another 109 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1787 and 1841 are included under the topic Early McKeel History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McKeel Spelling Variations

The recording of names in Ireland during the Middle Ages was an inconsistent endeavor at best. Since the general population did not know how to read or write, they could only specify how their names should be recorded orally. Research into the name McKeel revealed spelling variations, including MacAulay, MacAwley, MacAuley, MacAullay, MacAulley, MacAwlay, MacCaulay, MacCawley, MacGawley, Magawley, Cauley, Caulay, McCamley and many more.

Early Notables of the McKeel family (pre 1700)

Another 34 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McKeel Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States McKeel migration to the United States +

Death and immigration greatly reduced Ireland's population in the 19th century. For the native Irish people poverty, hunger, and racial prejudice was common. Therefore, thousands left their homeland to seek opportunity in North America. Those who survived the journey and the quarantine camps to which they arrived, were instrumental towards building the strong developing nations of the United States and the future Canada. By far, the largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. These were employed as construction or factory workers. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has shown early immigrants bearing the name McKeel:

McKeel Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Frank R. McKeel, aged 21, who settled in Aurora, N.Y., in 1920
  • Clara McKeel, aged 62, who arrived at New York, NY, in 1922
  • John McKeel, aged 16, who immigrated to Montclair, New Jersey in 1924
  • Ormond McKeel, aged 11, who settled in Montclair, New Jersey in 1924
  • Scudder McKeel, aged 22, who immigrated to Montclair, N. J., in 1924

Canada McKeel migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McKeel Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Ms. Ann McKeel U.E. who settled in New Brunswick c. 1784 [3]
  • Ms. Elizabeth McKeel U.E. who settled in New Brunswick c. 1784 [3]
  • Mr. Joseph McKeel U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [3]
  • Mr. Josiah McKeel U.E. who settled in New Brunswick c. 1784 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name McKeel (post 1700) +

  • James Mckeel, early American whiskey distiller, inspiration for the modern day founding of Collier and McKeel, in Tennessee
  • Sandy McKeel (b. 1963), American professional football player
  • Seth McKeel (b. 1975), American politician in the House of Representatives
  • Walter Thomas McKeel (b. 1972), former American professional baseball player
  • Billie McKeel (b. 1946), Australian cricket player


  1. ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
  2. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
  3. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X


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