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

Origins Available: Irish, Scottish

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

The surname McMeekin originally appeared in Gaelic as "O Miadhachain," which is derived from the word miadhach, meaning honorable.

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The Middle Ages saw a great number of spelling variations for surnames common to the Irish landscape. One reason for these variations is the fact that surnames were not rigidly fixed by this period. The following variations for the name McMeekin were encountered in the archives: Meighan, Meehan, Meegin, Meeghen, Meegan, Meakin, Meakins, Mekins, Mehan, Mehen, Mehigan, Mehegan, O'Meighan, O'Meehan and many more.

First found in County Leitrim (Irish: Liatroim) anciently the western half of the kingdom of Breifne, located in Northeastern Ireland, in Leinster province, where they held a family seat from ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McMeekin research. Another 204 words (15 lines of text) covering the year 1172 is included under the topic Early McMeekin History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 24 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McMeekin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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In the 19th century, thousands of Irish left their English-occupied homeland for North America. Like most new world settlers, the Irish initially settled on the eastern shores of the continent but began to move westward with the promise of owning land. The height of this Irish migration came during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. With apparently nothing to lose, Irish people left on ships bound for North America and Australia. Unfortunately a great many of these passengers lost their lives - the only thing many had left - to disease, starvation, and accidents during the long and dangerous journey. Those who did safely arrive in "the land of opportunities" were often used for the hard labor of building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. The Irish were critical to the quick development of the infrastructure of the United States and Canada. Passenger and immigration lists indicate that members of the McMeekin family came to North America quite early:

McMeekin Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Alexander McMeekin, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1803
  • Alexr McMeekin, aged 21, landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1803
  • David McMeekin, who arrived in New York in 1847

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  • Stan McMeekin, American cinematographer
  • Melissa McMeekin (b. 1972), American actress and producer, known for The Fighter (2010), American Hustle (2013) and Unfinished Business (2015)
  • Mr. George Mcmeekin, English Stoker from Liffle Lever, Lancashire, England, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking
  • Duncan McMeekin QC (b. 1955), Australian jurist, justice of the Supreme Court of Queensland in the Trial Division
  • Thomas Doodputlee McMeekin (1866-1946), British Olympic gold medalist sailor at the 1908 Summer Olympics
  • Lieutenant-General Sir Terence Douglas Herbert McMeekin KCB CBE (1918-1984), former British Army officer, General Officer Commanding the 3rd Division (1968-1970), GOC South East District (1972-1974)
  • Richard McMeekin, Canadian politician, MPP for Sault Ste. Marie in 1937
  • Ted McMeekin (b. 1948), Canadian politician, Minister of Community and Social Services (2013), Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing (2014)
  • Brian McMeekin, Canadian professional (NHL) hockey player


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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. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
  3. 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).
  4. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  5. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  7. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
  8. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
  9. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  10. 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.
  11. ...

The McMeekin Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McMeekin 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 18 November 2015 at 12:36.

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