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The name Keenan is an Anglicization of the Irish male name, Cianán, which might mean "the descendant of the faithful one."  The surname is found mainly in the Ulster area and the northern counties of Fermanagh and Monaghan. The first recorded scribe was Adam Ó Cianáin, mentioned in the "Four Masters" as canon of Lisgool, Co. Fermanagh and historian to the Maguires. Tradition states the  Ó Cianáin clan continued to serve as historians to the McGuire clan.
Our Keenan family is known to have been in Aghaloo, County Tyrone in 1822 when John Keenan and his family emigrated to Canada.
The Religious Census Returns of 1766 [1] show four Keenons in Aghaloo: Nahor Keenon, John Keenon, Patt Keenon and James Keenon.  There is also an Owen Kenon. It seems possible that they are related. Research suggests but does not prove that James is the father of our John.  We know that at least some of his brothers emigrated with him.  

  1. Margaret (1819 IRE - 1896 ONT) m. John James Haffey [Dropbox]
  2. John (1773 IRE - 1866 ONT) m. Eleanor (possibly Montague)  [Dropbox]
  3. Probably - James Keenon (circa 1740 -  ) m. Anne McCann (1741 - 1801) Killens, Tyrone)  [Dropbox]
  4. Background  [Dropbox]


[1] vol 21 n 4 pp 115-116 A List of the several families in the Parishes of Aghalow and Carantelle in the County of Tyrone and Diocese of Armagh being the corps of the Archdeaconry of Armagh.

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