The Keegan or O’Keggan Family

Keegan or O’Keggan family crest

(Crest No. 41. Plate 20.)

THE Keegan family is descended from Milesius, King of Spain, through the line of his son Heremon. The founder of the family was Earca, son of Olliol Molt, King of Ireland, A. D. 463, son of Dathy, last pagan monarch of Ireland. The ancient name was Egan, signifying “Philosopher.” The possessions of the sept were located in the present Counties of Sligo and Leitrim. The family is still numerous in those counties, especially in the latter.

Keegan or O’Keggan family crest

(Crest No. 193. Plate 39.)

A well-known member of this family was John Keegan, poet and patriot. He was a native of Queens County and died in 1849 at forty years of age. He was brought up among the humblest class of people, shared their privations and sorrows, and sympathized and acted with them on all occasions. He was a constant contributor to the Nation and other periodicals and his writings in prose and verse display much beauty and tenderness of feeling. His ballad on “Caoch the Piper,” is the best known, perhaps, of his writings.

The late Very Rev. William Keegan, Vicar-General of the Diocese of Brooklyn, was also a descendant of this family, and in its long line of great and good members there was none worthier than he. His name will always he intimately associated with the foundation and growth of the Church in the Diocese of Brooklyn, one of the most prosperous in the United States. The late Rev. James Keegan of St. Louis, Mo., was a native of the County of Leitrim. He was one of the most erudite Irish scholars of the day and a poet and writer of a high order of merit. He died recently in the thirty-fifth year of his age.

The O’Keggan family is a branch of the O’Keegans and it held possessions in the County of Donegal.