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MCKEON Family History

This Irish surname which originated, it is claimed, in County Sligo, uses the Gaelic diminutive 'Eoghain', translating as 'Little Owen' or perhaps 'son of Owen' as its basic form. 'Owen' is in fact the Welsh form of the Hebrew John, and is believed to be first found in Ireland in the 7th Century A.D. when the early Christians arrived from Europe. The clan held important lands in the barony of Kiltartan, in County Galway in the 16th century. In fact area was at that time known as 'Termon Brian MacOwen'. The Irish clan name spellings are generally MacKeown, formerly MacEoghain, in Connacht, MacKeon, formerly MacEoin, in County Down, whilst in County Fermanagh to give another variation it was originally O'Ceothain, and is now O'Hone! The famous Irish etymologist Edward MacLysaght claimed that with 'Keon' the prefix O' and 'Mac' are interchangeable...

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