Keegan Family History
The family history of the ancient name Keegan
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 Keegan
include Hegan, MacEgan, Egan and Kegan. These names are derived from the native Gaelic MacAodhagain sept that was of the Ui Maine of County Galway but who later settled in County Tipperary.
A sept or clan is a collective term describing a group of persons whose immediate ancestors bore a common surname and inhabited the same territory. It is also the case that many Irish septs or clans that are related often belong to a larger groups, sometimes called tribes. For example the 'Tribes of Galway' consisted of fourteen distinct families. The 'Tribes of Kilkenny' were ten families, etc.
These families were well-known Brehon scholars. Their territories comprised of part of County Tipperary, Kilkenny and Offaly, where the most important Chief Brehon, to the O'Connor Faly, was MacEgan. In some parts of Leinster and Connacht their name was changed to Keegan through the period of Gaelic submergence. In modern times the name Keegan is mostly found in Counties Dublin, Wicklow, Leitrim and Roscommon.The Keegan
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 Keegan