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McKey and McKee Study

Privacy Level: Public (Green)
Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: [unknown]
Surnames/tags: McKey McKee
This page has been accessed 128 times.

See Also: Mackie Name Study


About the Project

The McKey Name Study project serves as a collaborative platform to collect information on the McKey name. The hope is that other researchers like you will join the study to help make it a valuable reference point for other genealogists who are researching or have an interest in the McKey name.

As a One Name Study, this project is not limited to persons who are related biologically. Individual studies can be used to branch out the research into specific methods and areas of interest, such as geographically (England McKey), by time period (18th Century McKey), or by topic (McKey DNA, McKey Occupations, McKey Statistics). These studies may also include a number of family branches which have no immediate link with each other. Some researchers may even be motivated to go beyond the profile identification and research stage to compile fully sourced, single-family histories of some of the families they discover through this name study project.

Also see the related surnames and surname variants.

McKee is a surname of Scottish or Irish origin. The surname is derived from the Gaelic Mac Aodha ("son of Aodh") a patronymic form of an old Gaelic personal name which means "fire". Similar surnames which also are derived from the same Gaelic patronymic are McCoy, McGee, Kee and McKay.

This interesting surname is a form of the early Gaelic (Scottish and Irish) patronymic "Mac Aodh". The personal name "Aodh" meaning "fire" was originally the name of a pagan god, but this does not seem to have halted the popularity of this surname. In the modern idiom Mac Aodh has at least fifteen spelling forms including McKay, McKee, Kee, McCay, McCoy, McEa, and McAy. The form MacKee is widespread in North East Ulster, and especially in Counties Antrim, Down and Armagh, with the short form as Kee being most numerous in County Donegal in the Republic of Ireland. Early examples of the surname recordings include George McKe of Myretoun was mentioned in the Register of the Privy Seal, for Scotland, in 1538, and Sir Patrick MacKee who was a prominent County Donegal "servitor" at the Plantation of Ulster in 1641. Other later examples include on April 24th 1845, Robert Kee and Anne Jane Wilson who were married at Raphoe, County Donegal, whilst on May 17th 1847, James Kee, a famine emigrant, embarked from Belfast on the ship "Pontiac" bound for New York. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Cucail Mac Aedha. This was dated 1098, in the Manx Names listing, by Moore, during the reign of Cathal Craobhdhearg (Red Hand), High King of Ireland, 1198 - 1224. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Clan McKee

We derive our surname from the Scottish clan Mackay, which basically translates to “son of fire.”

Chief: 15th Lord Reay, Aeneas Simon Mackay, is the current clan Chief

Motto: “Manu Forti” (“with a strong hand”)

Clan Badge: Bulrush/cattail or broom

Battle Cry: Bratach Bhan Chlann Aoidh!

Song: Same as battle cry; “The White Banner of Mackay”

Region: Highland

Current Seat: Ophemert Castle, Netherlands

Historical Seat: Varrich Castle, Scotland

Historical Rivals:

Clan Donald Clan Sinclair Clan Gunn Clan Ross Clan Sutherland

Historical Allies:

Clan Forbes Clan Munroe Clan Gunn Clan Ross Clan Sutherland

How to Join

To join the McKey Name Study, first start out by browsing our current research pages to see if there is a specific study ongoing that fits your interests. If so, feel free to add your name to the Membership list below, post an introduction comment on the specific team page, and then dive right in!

If a research page does not yet exist for your particular area of interest, please contact the Name Study Coordinator: Billie Keaffaber for assistance.

... ... ... is a member of the McKey Name Study Project.

Once you are ready to go, you can also show your project affiliation with the ONS Member Sticker:


Research Pages

Here are some of the current research pages included in the study. I'll be working on them, and could use your help!


Related Surnames and Surname Variants



Here are some of the tasks that I think need to be done. I'll be working on them, and could use your help.

  • Updating profiles
  • Adding tags
  • Helping with Name Study
  • Taking over non managed profiles

Comments: 5

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Hi all I believe I have all transferred over to McKee site now. You can add and McKee Name stickers to profiles . Happy adding all.


posted on McKey and McKee name Study (merged) by Billie (Bright) Keaffaber
I would like to join this study. My grandmother is a McKee, the name changed from McKay to McKee when they came to the United States.
posted on McKey and McKee name Study (merged) by Gina (Romano) Rodkey
I have added you to the list. Please request to join the trusted list in the Privacy section of the space.
posted on McKey and McKee name Study (merged) by Christine (Campbell) Preston
I would love to join the McKee study. I myself am not a McKee but my husband is a descendant of the McKee line. His great aunt is the last of 3 children of their line in Watsontown. We have several relatives from those children alive including us.
posted on McKey and McKee name Study (merged) by Christine (Campbell) Preston

I added you to project. Please add self to trusted list at bottom.


posted on McKey and McKee name Study (merged) by Billie (Bright) Keaffaber