McKeen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The sea-swept Hebrides islands and the west coast of Scotland are the ancestral home of the McKeen family. Their name comes from the given name Ian or John. John is the most common personal name in the Highlands. The Gaelic form of the name is Mac Iain.

Early Origins of the McKeen family

The surname McKeen was first found in Argyllshire (Gaelic erra Ghaidheal), the region of western Scotland corresponding roughly with the ancient Kingdom of Dál Riata, in the Strathclyde region of Scotland, now part of the Council Area of Argyll and Bute, where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.

Early History of the McKeen family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McKeen research. Another 166 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1340, 1292, 1808, 1875, 1618, 1717, 1777, 1667 and are included under the topic Early McKeen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McKeen Spelling Variations

Medieval translation of Gaelic names could not be referred to as an accurate process. Spelling was not yet standardized, and names in documents from that era are riddled with spelling variations. McKeen has been written as MacIan, MacAne, MacKane, MacKean, MacKain and others.

Early Notables of the McKeen family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan from early times was Archibald McKain (1717-1777), Scottish Shoemaker and Burgess of Elgin, Morayshire, who became the 15th Chief of MacIain of Ardnamurchan. Also of note was Thomas M'kean of Delaware, one of the signers of the American Declaration of Independence. John Canne (d. 1667?)...
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McKeen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the McKeen family to Ireland

Some of the McKeen family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 80 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States McKeen migration to the United States +

Many of the ancestors of Dalriadan families who arrived in North America still live in communities along the east coast of Canada and the United States. In the American War of Independence many of the original settlers traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries the ancestors of many Scots began recovering their collective national heritage through Clan societies, highland games, and other patriotic events. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name McKeen or a variant listed above:

McKeen Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Samuel McKeen, who arrived in New England in 1718 [1]
  • Janet McKeen, who arrived in New England in 1718 [1]
  • William McKeen, who landed in South Carolina in 1772 [1]
McKeen Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Robert McKeen, aged 40, who landed in New York in 1812 [1]
  • James McKeen, aged 38, who landed in Maine in 1812 [1]
McKeen Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • G. McKeen, who immigrated to the United States, in 1903
  • J. McKeen, aged 40, who immigrated to the United States, in 1906
  • F. McKeen, aged 44, who landed in America, in 1906
  • Robert McKeen, aged 22, who immigrated to America from Belfast, Ireland, in 1907
  • Susan McKeen, aged 25, who immigrated to the United States from Ennistynion, Ireland, in 1907
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada McKeen migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McKeen Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • Marian McKeen, aged 24, who settled in Ottawa, Canada, in 1911
  • Sarah McKeen, aged 60, who immigrated to Ottawa, Canada, in 1911
  • John McKeen, aged 67, who immigrated to Halifax, Canada, in 1915
  • Agnes McKeen, aged 25, who settled in Montreal, Canada, in 1920
  • John C. McKeen, aged 22, who immigrated to Halifax, Canada, in 1921

Australia McKeen migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

McKeen Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Maria McKeen, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Bolton" in 1848 [2]
  • Mary McKeen, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Bolton" in 1848 [2]
  • John McKeen, aged 20, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "John Bunyan" [3]
  • Thomas McKeen, aged 24, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Sea Park"

Contemporary Notables of the name McKeen (post 1700) +

  • H. Boyd McKeen (1835-1864), American regimental leader during the American Civil War
  • Shea McKeen (b. 1986), American football player
  • Joseph McKeen (1757-1807), first American president of Bowdoin College of Brunswick, Maine
  • William McKeen, American professor
  • James McKeen (1860-1944), American psychologist
  • Allyn McKeen (1905-1978), American football player and coach
  • William R. McKeen Jr., American inventor of the track motorcar founder and president of McKeen Motor Car Company
  • Angus McKeen (b. 1969), retired Irish rugby union footballer
  • Charles Milton McKeen, Canadian provincial politician from Alberta
  • Stanley Stewart McKeen (1897-1966), Canadian businessman and politician in British Columbia
  • ... (Another 2 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) BOLTON 1848. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1848Bolton.htm
  3. ^ South Australian Register Wednesday 24th May 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) John Bunyan 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/johnbunyan1854.shtml


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