O'Keeffe History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
All Irish surnames have underlying meanings that can be traced back to their fullest points when the names first appeared in a Gaelic form. The name O'Keeffe originally appeared in Gaelic as "O Caoimh," which is derived from the word "caomh," which means "gentle."
Early Origins of the O'Keeffe family
The surname O'Keeffe was first found in County Cork (Irish: Corcaigh) the ancient Kingdom of Deis Muin (Desmond), located on the southwest coast of Ireland in the province of Munster, where they held a family seat from ancient times.
"In ancient times the O'Keeffes were Marshals and chief military leaders of Desmond. They possessed several castles, and were styled Princes of Fermoy. The principal county for the Keeffes and O'Keefes at present is Cork." 
Early History of the O'Keeffe family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Keeffe research. Another 116 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1655, 1640, 1691, 1703, 1670, 1740, 1747, 1833, 1778 and 1791 are included under the topic Early O'Keeffe History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
O'Keeffe Spelling Variations
Official documents, crafted by early scribes and church officials, primarily contained names that were spelled according to their pronunciation. This lead to the problem of one name being recorded under several different variations, creating an illusion that a single person was many people. Among the many spelling variations of the surname O'Keeffe that are preserved in the archival documents of the time are O'Keeffe, O'Keefe, Keefe, Keeffe, Keefer, Keiffe and others.
Early Notables of the O'Keeffe family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family name at this time was Constantine O'Keeffe (born c. 1670) who was admitted to the French aristocracy in 1740 on the basis of...
Another 27 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O'Keeffe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
In Australia, the name O'Keeffe is the 909th most popular surname with an estimated 4,324 people with that name. 
| O'Keeffe migration to the United States ||+|
In the 18th and 19th centuries hundreds of thousands of Irish people immigrated to North American shores. The early settlers were enticed by the promise of their own land, but they were moderately well off in Ireland when they decided to emigrate. Therefore, they were merely carrying out a long and carefully thought out decision. The 1840s saw the emergence of a very different trend: thousands of extremely desperate people crammed into passenger boats hoping to find any type of opportunity. The Irish of this decade had seen their homeland severely stricken by crop failures which resulted in widespread disease and starvation. At whatever time the Irish immigrants came to North America, they were instrumental in the rapid development of the emerging nations of the United States and what would become known as Canada. An exhaustive search of passenger and immigration lists has revealed many persons bearing the name O'Keeffe, or one of its variants:
O'Keeffe Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Daniel, Eugene, John, Michael, Thomas, and William O'Keeffe, all, who arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860
- Ansty O'Keeffe, aged 16, who landed in America from Kilkenny, in 1897
O'Keeffe Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- Alice O'Keeffe, aged 25, who landed in America from Castlecomer, Ireland, in 1907
- Aileen O'Keeffe, aged 3, who settled in America from Sallins, Co Kildare, Ireland, in 1911
- Annie O'Keeffe, aged 35, who immigrated to the United States from Sallins, Co Kildare, Ireland, in 1911
- Angela O'Keeffe, aged 17, who immigrated to the United States from Carrigaloe, Ireland, in 1920
- Benjamin O'Keeffe, aged 22, who immigrated to America from Glountane, Ireland, in 1920
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
|Contemporary Notables of the name O'Keeffe (post 1700) ||+|
- Georgia Totto O'Keeffe (1887-1986), prominent American artist/painter and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
- Kristin Bair O'Keeffe (b. 1966), American novelist
- Miles O'Keeffe (b. 1954), American actor
- Michael O'Keeffe, American Democratic Party politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Kings County 7th District, 1875 
- Mary E. O'Keeffe, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from California, 1956 
- Esther K. O'Keeffe, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Indiana 13th District, 1922 
- Elizabeth F. O'Keeffe, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New Jersey, 1944 
- Patrice O'Keeffe, Irish-born, French Brigadier General during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars from 1789 to 1815 
- James O'Keeffe (1912-1986), Irish Fine Gael politician
- Robert "Bob" O'Keeffe (1881-1949), Irish hurler who played from 1914-1915, President of the Gaelic Athletic Association (1935-1938)
- ... (Another 12 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)