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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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The surname McKeown was 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.

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.


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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 and printed products wherever possible.

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

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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

  • Alexander 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, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the brig "Silestria" from Belfast, Ireland
  • Michael McKeown, aged 25, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Betsy Heron" from Belfast, Ireland
  • Rose McKeown, aged 23, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Betsy Heron" from Belfast, Ireland
  • Kitty McKeown, aged 20, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Betsy Heron" from Belfast, Ireland
  • Ally McKeown, aged 22, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick 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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McKeown Historic Events



HMAS Sydney II

  • Mr. Malachi James McKeown (1919-1941), Australian Able Seaman from Newtown, New South Wales, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II on the 19th November 1941 and died during the sinking

HMS Prince of Wales

  • Mr. Gerard Mckeown, British Marine, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking
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Citations



    Other References

    1. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
    2. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
    3. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
    4. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
    5. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
    6. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
    7. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
    8. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
    9. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
    10. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
    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 21 February 2016 at 15:29.

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