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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

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

Hundreds of years ago, the Gaelic name used by the McKeown family in Ireland was Mac Eogain in Connacht, and Mac Eoin in east Ulster. Both of these names connote a son of John, or a son of Owen.

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Names from the Middle Ages demonstrate many spelling variations. This is because the recording scribe or church official often decided as to how a person's name was spelt and in what language. Research into the name McKeown revealed many variations, including Keon, MacKeon, MacKeown, MacKewan, MacKoun, MacWing, Hone, MacOwen, Mageown and many more.

First found in County Sligo (Irish: Sligeach), in the province of Connacht in Northwestern Ireland, where the first people to use this surname are thought to have originated. Soon thereafter, the name was also found in neighboring Leitrim.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McKeown research. Another 167 words (12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McKeown History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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To escape the religious and political discrimination they experienced primarily at the hands of the English, thousands of Irish left their homeland in the 19th century. These migrants typically settled in communities throughout the East Coast of North America, but also joined the wagon trains moving out to the Midwest. Ironically, when the American War of Independence began, many Irish settlers took the side of England, and at the war's conclusion moved north to Canada. These United Empire Loyalists, were granted land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula. Other Irish immigrants settled in Newfoundland, the Ottawa Valley, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, however, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America and Australia. Many of those numbers, however, did not live through the long sea passage. These Irish settlers to North America were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. Irish settlers made an inestimable contribution to the building of the New World. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the Irish name McKeown or a variant listed above, including:

McKeown Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Alexr McKeown, aged 18, landed in New York, NY in 1803
  • Dan McKeown, who arrived in America in 1806
  • Hugh McKeown, who landed in South Carolina in 1810
  • Moses McKeown, who landed in South Carolina in 1810
  • Margaret McKeown, who landed in New York, NY in 1816


McKeown Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Peter McKeown, aged 13, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the brig "Silestria" from Belfast
  • Michael McKeown, aged 25, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the brig "Betsy Heron" from Belfast
  • Rose McKeown, aged 23, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the brig "Betsy Heron" from Belfast
  • Kitty McKeown, aged 20, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the brig "Betsy Heron" from Belfast
  • Ally McKeown, aged 22, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Cupid" in 1834


McKeown Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Thomas McKeown (aged 21) arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Aurora"

McKeown Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Nicholas McKeown arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Empress" in 1865
  • Thomas McKeown, aged 21, a labourer, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Assaye" in 1874
  • John McKeown, aged 43, a farm labourer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Arethusa" in 1879
  • Mary A. McKeown, aged 32, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Arethusa" in 1879
  • James McKeown, aged 8, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Arethusa" in 1879


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  • Wilson McKeown, American politician, U.S. Consular Agent in Ballymena, 1901-08
  • William B. McKeown, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Mayor of White Plains, New York, 1961
  • Thomas Deitz McKeown (1878-1951), American Democrat politician, District Judge in Oklahoma 7th District, 1911-16; U.S. Representative from Oklahoma 4th District, 1917-21, 1923-35
  • Mitchell McKeown, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Illinois, 1948
  • Mary McKeown, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from California, 1960
  • Lawrence W. McKeown, American Democrat politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from New York 2nd District, 1950; Chair of Nassau County Democratic Party, 1953-55
  • John McKeown, American Democrat politician, Member of New York State Assembly, 1895-1905
  • James J. McKeown, American Libertarian politician, Candidate for U.S. Senator from New York, 1982
  • Francis M. McKeown (b. 1898), American Democrat politician, Member of Massachusetts State Senate First Hampden District, 1935-36
  • Daniel J. McKeown, American politician, U.S. Consular Agent in North Bay, 1897-1905

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  1. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  2. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  3. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  4. 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).
  5. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  6. 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).
  7. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  8. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  9. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  10. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  11. ...

The McKeown Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McKeown 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 11 January 2016 at 12:10.

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