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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Hundreds of years ago, the Gaelic name used by the McKown 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.


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 McKown 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.


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


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


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 McKown or a variant listed above, including:

McKown Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Hugh McKown, who landed in South Carolina in 1810
  • Moses McKown, who landed in South Carolina in 1810
  • Thomas McKown, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1844
  • John McKown, who arrived in New York in 1864
  • Wm McKown, aged 13, who emigrated to America, in 1897

McKown Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • John Vantier McKown, aged 22, who emigrated to the United States from Liverpool, in 1903
  • Thomas McKown, aged 32, who landed in America from Glasgow, in 1904
  • Wm. McKown, aged 19, who landed in America from Belfast, in 1905
  • Patk. McKown, aged 26, who settled in America from Dundalk, Ireland, in 1907
  • Selma McKown, aged 43, who emigrated to the United States, in 1909

McKown Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • James McKown, aged 4, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Salus" in 1833

McKown Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Catherine McKown, aged 23, a domestic servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Bucephalus"


  • Clarence William "Bill" McKown Jr. (b. 1953), retired United States Navy captain


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  1. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  2. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  3. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  4. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  5. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  6. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  7. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  8. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  9. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  10. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
  11. ...

The McKown Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The McKown 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 25 November 2014 at 20:34.

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