Origin of the Name MacKee
family history was found in the allfamilycrests.com archives. The Gaelic surname McAodha, signifying the son of Aodh, meaning 'Hugh', has acquired in the process of anglicization a great number of variants. These include McKay, McCoy, Hughes, Hewson, Eason, McHugh, Keyes and also McKee. McHugh is the form used by the Connacht sept which is of the same stock as the O'Flahertys. They were chiefs of the territory known as the barony of Clare in County Galway . In 1585 at the time of the Cromwellian settlement they were landowners in County Galway . Today they are found all around that area and even beyond it as far North as Counties Leitrim and Fermanagh. The names McKee and Keyes are numerous in Counties Antrim, Down and Armagh as was evidenced in the 1659 Census. In Ulster Province McKee and Kee can also be variants of the name MacKay, which was introduced by settlers from England and Scotland , especially during the seventeenth century.
The MacKee coat of arms came into existence centuries ago. The process of creating coats of arms (also often called family crests) began in the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this. The new art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own coat of arms, including all MacKee descendants.