O'Keigan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Hundreds of years ago, the Gaelic name used by the O'Keigan family in Ireland was Mac Aodhagain, which means "son of Aodh, son of fire," a personal name usually Anglicized as Hugh. A Brehon family originally of Uí Maine, which settled in Ormond. 
The family claim descent from Saint and Bishop Eoghan (d. 618), "of Ardsratha, now Ardstraw, in the county of Tyrone and diocese of Derry. Descended from Ugaine Mor on the father's side he was thus connected by kindred with the chieftains of Leinster, while through his mother, Muindech, he claimed relationship with the Ulster families." 
Another source confirms the name descends from "the cineal Eoghain, [who] were the ' genus' or progeny of Eoghan, a great Irish chief contemporary with St. Patrick. The name is Anglicized to Owen and Eugene. " 
Early Origins of the O'Keigan family
The surname O'Keigan was first found in County Tipperary (Irish: Thiobraid Árann), established in the 13th century in South-central Ireland, in the province of Munster, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.
The ancient Egans were lawyers of Ui Maine, a region which is today called Galway, Roscommon and Offaly. The earliest surviving Irish law manuscript, In Senchas MÃ¡r, was written prior to 1350 at a school (patronized by Mac Aodhagain) at Duniry, near Loughrea.
Early History of the O'Keigan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Keigan research. Another 137 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1172 and 1740 are included under the topic Early O'Keigan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
O'Keigan Spelling Variations
People who were accounted for by scribes and church officials often had their name recorded many different ways because pronunciation was the only guide those scribes and church officials had to go by. This resulted in the problem of one person's name being recorded under several different variations, creating the illusion of more than one person. Among the many spelling variations of the surname O'Keigan that are preserved in archival documents are Egan, Eagan, Keegan, MacEgan, Kegan, Keagan and many more.
Early Notables of the O'Keigan family (pre 1700)
Another 38 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O'Keigan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the O'Keigan family
Irish families left their homeland in astonishing numbers during the 19th century in search of a better life. Although individual reasons vary, most of these Irish families suffered from extreme poverty, lack of work opportunities, and exorbitant rents in their homeland. Many decided to travel to Australia or North America in the hopes of finding greater opportunities and land. The Irish immigrants that came to North America initially settled on the East Coast, often in major centers such as Boston or New York. But like the many other cultures to settle in North America, the Irish traveled to almost any region they felt held greater promise; as a result, many Irish with gold fever moved all the way out to the Pacific coast. Others before that time left for land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula, or the Maritimes as United Empire Loyalists, for many Irish did choose to side with the English during the American War of Independence. The earliest wave of Irish migration, however, occurred during the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s. An examination of early immigration and passenger lists has revealed many people bearing the O'Keigan name: Rev. Michael Egan who became Bishop of Philadelphia in 1790. Many other Egans settled in this city during the 19th century.
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The O'Keigan Motto +
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Fortitudine et prudentia
Motto Translation: With fortitude and prudence.
- ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.