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  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 three 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, The following family is suggested.
James Keenon (circa 1740 - ) m. Anne McCann (1741 - 1801 Killens, Tyrone)
- John 1773 Aghaloo, Tyrone, Ireland - Aug 1866 Adjala, Ontario, Canada
- James 1776 Aghaloo, Tyrone, Ireland - Jan 1859 Adjala, Ontario, Canada
- Dennis (obtained land in Adjala in 1823)
- William (obtained land in Albion in 1823)
Aghaloo, Tyrone, Ireland
Adjala, Simcoe, Ontario, Canada