Keenan / Family History
ancient family history was found in the irishsurnames.com archives.
Surnames developed a wide number of variants over the centuries. 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 Keenan
include Kenan, Keenin and Queenan. These Gaelic names are derived from the O'Cianain sept that was chiefly remarkable for the number of distinguished ecclesiastics and historians it produced in the middle ages. Between the years 1345 and 1508 no less than eight are recorded in the ancient manuscripts 'The Four Masters' as being historians to the Maguires of Fermanagh. The names Kenan and Keenan are not to be confused with Keenahan which is quite distinct from them. The form MacKeenan appears in the census of 1659 as being numerous in Leitrim and elsewhere, but the prefix Mac is now quite obsolete and this may be due to a mistake by the seventeenth century non-Irish officials who were often confused between O and Mac. The name is always recorded as O'Cianain in the native Irish Annals.The Keenan
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 Keenan