Origin of the Name Keenan
family history was found in the allfamilycrests.com archives.
Over the centuries Surnames developed a wide number of variants. Different spellings of the same name can be traced back to an original root. Additionally when a bearer of a name emigrated it was not uncommon that their original name would be incorrectly transcribed in the record books at their new location. Surnames were also often altered over the years based on how they sounded phonetically and depending on the prevailing political conditions it may have been advantageous to change a name from one language to another.
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 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 Keenan descendants.