McKeon Name Meaning, Family History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

McKeon History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Hundreds of years ago, the Gaelic name used by the McKeon family in Ireland was Mac Eogain in Connacht, and Mac Eoin in east Ulster. Both of these names connote a "son of John," or "son of Owen." [1]

Early Origins of the McKeon family

The surname McKeon 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.

Early History of the McKeon family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McKeon research. Another 84 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McKeon History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McKeon Spelling Variations

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 McKeon were encountered in the archives: Keon, MacKeon, MacKeown, MacKewan, MacKoun, MacWing, Hone, MacOwen, Mageown and many more.

Early Notables of the McKeon family (pre 1700)

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


United States McKeon migration to the United States +

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 McKeon family came to North America quite early:

McKeon Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Alexander McKeon, aged 20, who arrived in New York, NY in 1804 [2]
  • Ann McKeon, aged 24, who landed in New York, NY in 1804 [2]
  • William McKeon, aged 23, who landed in New York, NY in 1804 [2]
  • Felix McKeon, aged 28, who landed in New York in 1812 [2]
  • Pat McKeon, aged 22, who arrived in New York in 1812 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada McKeon migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McKeon Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John McKeon, aged 30 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Wolfville" departing 25th April 1847 from Sligo, Ireland; the ship arrived on 10th June 1847 but he died on board [3]
  • Mr. Patrick McKeon, aged 26 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Wolfville" departing 25th April 1847 from Sligo, Ireland; the ship arrived on 10th June 1847 but he died on board [3]

Australia McKeon migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

McKeon Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John McKeon, Irish convict who was convicted in Meath, Ireland for 7 years, transported aboard the "Atlas" on 29th November 1801, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [4]
  • Mr. John McKeon, Irish reaper who was convicted in Meath, Ireland, transported aboard the "Atlas" on 16th January 1816, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [4]
  • John McKeon, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Birman" in 1840 [5]
  • Margaret McKeon, aged 26, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Coromandel" [6]
  • Catherine McKeon, aged 18, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Switzerland"
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand McKeon migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

McKeon Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Jane McKeon, aged 17, a housemaid, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Earl Granville" in 1880
  • Miss Jane McKeon, (b. 1865), aged 20, British settler travelling aboard the ship "Aorangi" arriving in Invercargill, New Zealand on 25th June 1885 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name McKeon (post 1700) +

  • Philip Anthony McKeon (1964-2019), American child actor, best known for his role as Tommy Hyatt, on the sitcom Alice from 1976 to 1985
  • Nancy McKeon (b. 1966), American actress, known for her role as Jo Polniaczek on the NBC sitcom The Facts of Life
  • Howard McKeon (b. 1938), American politician, U.S. Representative for California's 25th congressional district, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee
  • Larry McKeon (1944-2008), American politician, member of the Illinois House of Representatives from Chicago
  • John F. McKeon (b. 1958), American Democratic Party politician
  • Matt McKeon (b. 1974), American soccer player
  • Lindsey McKeon (b. 1982), two-time Daytime Emmy-nominated American actress
  • Jack McKeon, American Major League Baseball manager
  • Richard McKeon (1900-1985), American philosopher
  • Philip McKeon (b. 1964), American actor, brother of Nancy McKeon
  • ... (Another 20 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

RMS Lusitania
  • Miss Jane Mckeon, English 3rd Class passenger from England, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [8]


  1. ^ Moore, A.W., Manx Names. London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1906. Print
  2. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  3. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 88)
  4. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th July 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/atlas
  5. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) BIRMAN 1840. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1840Birman.htm
  6. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 9th January 1855. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Coromandel 1855. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/coromandel1855.shtml
  7. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  8. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/


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