Okeefe Family History
The family history of the ancient name O'Keefe
was found in the irishsurnames.com archives.
Many different spelling variations of the same name can be traced back to a single original root. Also, when a bearer of a name emigrated from Ireland it was not uncommon that their original name would be incorrectly transcribed in the record books upon arrival at their new location. Some names have dozens of spelling variations. Some Surnames were also altered over the years based on how they sounded phonetically, by their sound, and depending on the prevailing political conditions it may have been advantageous to change a name from one language to another. This was especially so in Ireland where most Gaelic names were 'anglicized' at some stage.
Variants of the name O'Keefe
include O'Keeffe and Keefe. The ancestor of this powerful Sept was Art Caemh, whose father was King of Munster in the year 902. They were forced out of their territory, which was around Glanmore and Fermoy in County Cork, by the Normans in the thirteenth century. They then moved South to the Duhallow country, where their surroundings came to be called Pobble O'Keeffe - 'O'Keeffe's country'. Famous O'Keeffes were Father Eoghan O'Keefe, 1656-1726, who was president of the bards of North County Cork, and John O'Keeffe, 1747-1833, the playwright whose daughter was a well known authoress in her day. Today the majority of O'Keefes are to be found in County Cork in the South of the Country.The O'Keefe
family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including O'Keefe