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Keeney Family Genealogy
Online Newsletter

Volume 1 #2
January 1999
k-f-g-online.info Editor @ Fault
Daniell Lee Keeney

Welcome to the KFG online newsletter. The purpose of these pages are to get Keeney Researchers together & share information on our surname. I would like to fashion this after The Keeney UpDate, that Roscoe C. Keeney, Jr., puts out about 4 times a year. So in that esteem, I hereby ask Keeney researchers for donations of information, in order to accomplish this.

Navigation Table

Looking for.....

Posted by Lee Keeney on December 24, 1998 at 18:05:22:

I am looking for Harvey Keeneys burial site. Maybe in St. Joseph, county, Mi. Harvey's second wife was Sarah Smith and his first wife was Francis Gilford? Harvey was born June 3, 1804 and died Oct.1,1884. His father's name was Thomas Keeney. Thomas Keeney was married to Hanna Soule. Can anyone help.?

Posted by George L. Keeney on December 23, 1998 at 04:46:43:

I am looking for any information about Keeney's from the Fredrick County, MD area.


From the inbox.....

From: Bill Allen Keeney (Ireland)

To; Brian Wynn (Australia)

Cc: Dan Keeney (California, USA)



  Thanks for copying me on your e-mail response to Susan (?surname?).

It's good to hear others taking an interest in family histories and I'm glad your research collaborates well with my own. I was not aware of the book from Rev. Patrick Woulfe. I will have to try and find it somewhere here. I assume you have read the article I wrote on the Keeney website about the origins of the surname. I had hoped that by publishing the research I had done that some of the disagreement over the origins would be cleared up. I know sometimes it can be an emotional thing, taking pride in your assumed heritage and it could cloud one's objectivity. I was particularly concerned about people who insisted that Keeney is German or English. I felt this was wholly unsubstantiated by stories past down and all the existing evidence. I have to admit myself that I initially fancied the Scottish origins just because the Scots have been a lot more romanticized. Like you mentioned , at one time I had the notion that the Irish are trouble makers and understand that many of Irish decent in America denied their heritage due to this. Once I started the research though and saw the evidence clearly pointing to the Irish origins, I found there was much to be proud of here. ( I was told growing up in America that Keeney was of Irish / Scottish origin).'Indeed, like you mentioned, there is a very close connection (largely ignored) between Ireland and Scotland. I think because of the confusion over who the Scots are. As you mentioned, the Gaelic Scots of the Highlands, and the lowland Scots, who would seem mostly of Anglo-Saxon origin. I would be very interested in your perspective, since you were raised and educated in Scotland. You obviously have a more intimate knowledge of the Scots Gaelic language. I've only have somewhat of an introduction, just studying the differences compared to Irish. You might also recognize the connection to the Irish word 'cian' meaning sad or 'caoin' meaning cry, or '(ag) caoineadh' crying.

My wife has asked me if I'm writing a paper here:-)..'so I'll end .

I would be very interested in anything else you might want to share regarding family origins, etc.

Thanks again,

Nollaig shona dhuit (Merry Christmas to you)

Bill Keeney

Donnybrook, Cork Ireland

BTW I courteously copied Dan Keeney who maintains the Keeney website in America.

Brian Wynn wrote:

'        I have just sent this e-mail to a lady in America. I thought you may me interested.

 '        Hi Susan. Your posting interested me because I happen to be right in the middle of researching by ancestors, and I have some information that may help you.

'        First, let me clear up one thing. I was born in Scotland, and migrated to Australia in 1967 when I was 30 years old. My parents and grandparents were also born in Scotland.

'        To help me in my research, I have been using the General Register Office for Scotland on-line' database, called 'Origins'. You have to pay a fee, but it is invaluable.

'        To be strictly accurate, I have discovered that my grandfather, Michael Wynn, married a Jane Keanie in Leith (the port of Edinburgh) in 1900. I then tried to do earlier research on her name, but ran into some difficulty. To cut a long story short, I eventually managed to prove that, although she was still Jane Keanie in the official census of 1891, she (and her parents) had actually changed their names shortly before. Jane's birth certificate was actually in the name of Jane Kenny, and her parents were  also recorded as Kenny. I should point out here that, to a Scot, the name 'Keanie' sounds Scottish, but the name 'Kenny' is decidedly Irish. I am sorry to admit that, for countless years in Scotland, many Scots have tended to turn down their noses at Irish people, considering them 'keelies' (or trouble-makers). Although I have not yet managed to prove it, I now strongly suspect that my great' grandparents fled to Scotland at the end of  the Irish potato famine. They then had a child in Scotland (although I cannot find their marriage), and soon after, changed their names from Kenny to Keanie. So, what has all this got to do with you? Possible very little. However, I am a trained researcher, with good source material, and I have taken the trouble to look up the name Keaney in my references (mainly because people could not spell in those days, and surnames changed spelling quite frequently from one generation to the next. Before I start on Keaney, please let me make a few remarks about 'Keene'. Do not be in too much of a hurry to discount the possibility of a link from this to your own name. I remember that, during World War II, when I was in' the Scottish Highlands, the Highlanders in the area east of Inverness used to use the Gaelic word 'Quine' (meaning 'girl'). This word was often pronounced 'kwy-nay' (rhyming with 'why-pay') when used in an affectionate or diminutive way. I would have little doubt that a little member of the 'Keene' family might easily be referred to 'Keenie' (spelt any way you like).

'        Having said all of that, we must then remember that most Highland names had their true origins in Ireland (as did the Scots themselves). Add to that the fact that the Irish were using surnames some hundreds of years before they were in common use in the Scottish Highlands, and had an excellent recording system, and you are likely to have some very valuable information about Celtic surnames.

'        I am very fortunate to have a copy of the 1923 book 'Sloinnte Gaedheal is Gall' (Irish Names and Surnames) by P'draig de Bhulbh (Rev. Patrick Woulfe)' - a renowned expert on the subject. He has this to say about the surname > 'Keeney': The code used indicates that the authority for the name comes from the 'spoken language', and that the spelling may not be etymologically correct.

'        The relevant entry then reads: O'Cianaigh - O'Keeney, Keaney, Keany, Keeny, Keeny; 'descendant of Cianach' (derivative of 'Cian'); or perhaps more correctly O'Caoinnigh, 'descendant of Caoinneach' (a variant of Coinneach); in use in Galway and Donegal. I have little doubt that the name was,' therefore, originally Irish. However, as I have explained, it is just possible that it was based on  'Keene'. This, in turn, was a variant of the Irish surname 'Keane' or 'Kean'. These surnames have a long and ancient history of their own. For now, I shall merely state that they are modernized versions of the old Irish surnames O'Cath'in, O'C'in, Mac Aodh'in and O' Caodh'in. Sure, you may well be connected with one of the Scottish Clans (Gunn, MacDonald of Ardnamurchan or MacDonald of Glencoe) through the name 'Keene'. However, if you are really talking about ROOTS, I think you are   heading for the Emerald Isle!

'        Brian Wynn

'        The Basin, Victoria, Australia


Found online

Keeney's Towing 2972 W 38th Street Cleveland, OH 44113 

Phone: (216)651-6434

O'Malley Family Tree '
Family Tree The following are surnames of people within my family tree. Click on the surname to get additional information about that part of my family.

Keeney Pass '
Keeney Pass. This Jim Tompkins photo shows one of the still visible swales, marked by a BLM carsonite post. A BLM kiosk has several...

Keeney Family Genealogy Forum '
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From the Keeney UpDate

Volume XIV, Number 2 June 1997

Joe Keeney of Montana

(paragraph's 1 & 8 out of 10)

Joseph Elias Keeney, son of Captain Jonathan & Mary Shoemaker Keeney and a friend of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday, was born on the Oregon frontier & schooled in an atmosphere of six guns, ropes & horses, professional gambling, hard hats, diamond jewelry & brothels. Three wives were mothers to his children.

First wife of JOE KEENEY was Susannah Robinson, mother of Forest Eli Keeney, Claire Parker was the second wife; she was mother of Joseph Sylvester & Mabel Pearl Mamlock. Mary Parker a sister of Claire, became Joe's third wife. She was the mother of Independence Nugget Keeney.


Updated e-mail addresses

I had to change ISP's in December so my alternate e-mail address is:



03 January 1999 11:06:04 -0800

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