We aim to establish a British chapter of Clann MacAodhagain.
In addition to the Irish Headquarters there are Australian and North American chapters of the clan already and we would very much like to be considered in the future as the representatives in Great Britain.
We have set up a Facebook group which has been quite well-received so far with over 120 members.
For the purposes of clarity, the Clann MacAodhagain Britain divides the MacAodhagain septs as follows:
SEPT1: MacEgan and Egan of Redwood (Most frequent in Galway, Tipperary and Roscommon)
SEPT2: McKeegan and MacKeegan (Most frequent in Derry, Antrim and Down)
SEPT3: Keegan, Kegan and Keggin (Most frequent in Louth, Meath, Westmeath and Dublin)
SEPT4: McKeighan, McEachain, Keighen and Keigeen of the Isles (Most frequent in North Uist, Coll, Jura, Isle of Man, Scotland)
On this website, we are initially documenting the 3rd and 4th Septs (Keegan & McKeighan) with historical reference to the others.
For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet the Clann...
Clann MacAodhagain (Clan Egan) Official Headquarters, IRELAND
Clann Chieftain: Michael J.S Egan, The MacEgan.
Clann MacAodhagain Official Australian branch, AUSTRALIA
President, Australian Chapter: Professor Greg Egan
Clann MacAodhagain Official USA/Canada branch, AMERICA
President: Byron F. Egan
Clann MacAodhagain Keegan England & Scotland
Head researcher: David Keegan
Study group co-ordinator: Simon Keegan (Simeon MacAodhagain)
The Clann MacAodhagain by Simon Keegan
Keegan is an Irish surname that evolved from the original Irish name of Mhic Aeghagain or MacAodhagain. Alternative spellings include Egan, Kiggan, McKeegan and McKeighan. Generally those families that use the name Keegan are from the area around county Dublin, County Louth, Meath and Westmeath.
The first person to use the spelling Keegan was Murtagh MacAodhagain, born in around 1592. Murtagh served worked as a brehon (lawmaker and historian) for the MacGeoghan clan and at the same time they anglicised the name to Geoghan, Murtagh changed his name to Keegan. Murtagh's descendants moved from Westmeath and spread throughout the east of Ireland. One branch moved to Dublin and shortly after Cromwell sacked Drogheda, the family of Rowland Keegan (born 1650) moved to there. His first son Derby Keegan was born in Dublin in 1681 and his second son Robert Keegan in Drogheda 1685.
In 1823, John Keegan was born in Drogheda and became a stonemason, his work took him to Dublin, Dun Laoghaire and Liverpool where he eventually settled. John Keegan was my great great great grandfather.
If we go back even further in time, tracing the ancestors of Murtagh Keegan through the lineage of "MacAodhagain of Clan Ricarde" we eventually get back to the clan founder. Flann son of Aedhagain adopted the name MacAodhagain in around 1000AD which became the name of the clan from there on. Apart from those who have been adopted (or born as the result of an extra marital affair!) every Keegan in the world is descended from Aedhagain.
We can trace the lineage of the clan from Aedhagain to the present day, over some 28 generations. The clan was originally based in the area we now call Galway but soon adopted Redwood Castle as the clan home. Redwood Castle is in Lorrha, near Portumna in County Tipperary. It was the seat of the clan chief for around 400 years until Cromwell burnt it down. In about 1980 the castle began to be used again for clan gatherings.
Before the Clann MacAodhagain rose to prominence in the Brehon tradition they were part of a tribe called the Ui Maine which means "descendants of Maine." The Clann MacAodhagain in particular were part of a branch of the Ui Maine descended from Cairbre Crom who lived in around 600AD.
Maine was the son of the notorious Irish king Niall of the Nine Hostages who took prisoner the heirs of nine of his rivals until they recognised him as high king. He flourished in around 480AD which makes him a contemporary of the legendary King Arthur. Niall was the ancestor of a number of Irish and Scottish clans, not only the Keegans but also, on my mother's side the Molloys and Buchanans.
Like most of the Irish high kings, Niall traced his ancestry back to somebody called Milesius. The story goes that Milesius was king of Iberia (Spain) and his sons came to Ireland where they conquered the previous rulers. The Irish kings were therefore called Milesian and are also called Gaelic, tracing their descent to an ancestor of Milesius called Gael Glas who was a ruler in Scythia (roughly eastern Europe).
While historians may dispute the exact genealogical lineage from Gael Glas down to Milesius down to Nial, the migrations of Celtic tribes such as the Brigantes mirror this exactly. In other words the Celtic migrations did begin in Scythia, did come through Spain and did end up in Ireland. We know this because of DNA testing, archaeology and the names of places.
The story goes that a Scythian king named Niul married an Egyptian princess named Merytaten who was the daughter of Akhenaten which would also make her the sister of Tutankhamun. It may seem unlikely to have Egyptian descent but actually DNA testing of Tutankhamun and Akhenaten confirmed that their paternal DNA was more 'celtic' than Egyptian, probably due to Egypt's various dynasties being usurped by western tribes such as the Hyskos and Mitanni.
The lineages suggest that the ancestors of the Gaelic celts (therefore the ancient ancestors of the Keegans, Molloys and Buchanans) were the rulers of Tepe Gawra or the Edomites, named in the Bible as the sons of Esau and who raided Egypt regularly. Because the genealogy of the Edomites intertwines with the Egyptian phaorah dynasties, we can clearly trace the descent back thousands of years. But in terms of the paternal descent only take us so far.
Amenahat I of Egypt (1991-1962BC)
Senusret I of Egypt (1971-1926BC)
Isaac of Egypt
Edomites of Tepe Gawra
Nuadha Fionn Fail
Bres Nar Lothar
1) Niall Noígíallach (500AD)
2) Maine Mor (540)
3) Breasal (580)
4) Dallan (620)
5) Luchach (660)
6) Fearach (700)
7) Cairbre Crom (730)
8) Corpmaic (770)
9) Eogain Finn (800)
10) Dicolla (830)
11) Dluthaigh (870)
12) Fidchellaig (900)
13) Cosgraich (940)
14) Anluain (980)
15) Flaithemhain (1010)
16) Gositine (1040)
17) Aedhagain (1070)
18) Flann MacAodhagain (1110)
19) Murtagh MacAodhagain (1140)
20) Duncan Mor MacAodhagain (1170)
21) Duncan Oge MacAodhagain (1200)
22) Simon MacAodhagain (1230)
23) Saorbhreathach MacAodhagain (1270)
24) Maoliossa MacAodhagain (1300)
25) Flann MacAodhagain (1330)
26) Finghin MacAodhagain (1360)
27) Connor MacAodhagain (1390)
28) Donal MacAodhagain (1420)
29) Tiege MacAodhagain (1460)
30) Tiege Oge MacAodhagain (1500)
31) Boetius MacAodhagain (1540)
32) Brian MacAodhagain (1570)
33) Murtagh MacAodhagain (1592)
34) Henry Kegan (1620)
35) Rowland Keegan (1650)
36) Robert Keegan (1685)
37) John Keegan (1724)
38) James Keegan (1754)
39) James Keegan (1785)
40) John Keegan (1823)
41) John Keegan (1854)
42) Paul Keegan (1896)
43) Walter Keegan (1925)
44) David Keegan (1950)
45) Simon Keegan (1979)
A DNA test showed my DNA, matching my ancestor Niall 1,500 years ago gives the haplogroup R1B1A2 (M222). This is called the Northwest Irish Modal Haplotype. in turn we can trace this back further - R came from P which in turn came from K and so on back to an ancestor with the DNA haplogroup A. Through this DNA study we can deduce that the earliest known paternal ancestor lived in around 60,000BC in eastern Africa, his people moved north and crossed the Gate of Grief at the southern end of the Red Sea, an isthmus 25km wide and 137 metres deep, known as the Gates of Grief [Bab al Mandab] from its numerous reefs.
The strait was very much narrower during glacial periods, allowing easy island-hopping across the shallows and the reef islands of the Hanish al Kubra, at the northern end of the isthmus. Measurements made on the Greenland ice cap show that the second coldest time of the last 100,000 years was between 60,000 and 70,000 years ago. At its coldest, 65,000 years ago, this glaciation took the world’s sea levels over 80 metres below today’s levels. Certainly a stimulus to move.
Writers like Sykes and Oppenheimer assigned names to common ancestors based on their geography and DNA clusters. For example the majority of native Americans had the haplogroup Q so they were denoted the name Quezacotl based on a central American deity of that name, likewise the Middle Eastern haplogroup G got Gilgamesh.
As our ancestors moved away from Africa, breeding with women in more eastern lands, the skin tone gradually became paler. They moved east along a coastal path past India and Pakistan where we gained a DNA marker K which has been nicknamed 'Krishna.'
The descendants of 'Krishna' moved north to the very north western part of what is now China where the DNA marker P (nicknamed 'Polo' emerged.
As the descendants of 'Polo' moved north and west across Scythia the DNA marker R emerged which is nicknamed 'Ruisko'. The descendants of 'Ruisko' were ancient Hittites and included those with a DNA mutation R1A (who we call Sigurd) and those with a DNA mutation R1B (who we call Oisin) , the former is common among Germanic tribes (Angles, Danes, Saxons, Normans) and the latter among Celtic tribes (Trojans, Irish, Scots, Welsh, Breton, Gaul, Basques).
Eventually the DNA marker R1B1 (who we call Rox) emerged, then the DNA marker R1B1A (who we call Rory) who lived in around 4,000BC.
Our ancestors in terms of DNA are:
- Y Chromosome Adam (most recent common ancestor) 60,000BC
- 'Out of Africa Adam' (most recent caucasian ancestor) 50,000BC
- Krishna (representative of haplogroup K in India) 40,000BC
- Polo (representative of haplogroup P in China, Kazakstan) 30,000BC
- Ruisko (representative of haplogroup R in central Europe) 20,000BC
- Oisin (haplogroup R1B) 15,000BC
- Rox (haplogroup R1B1) 10,000BC
- Rory (haplogroup R1B1A) 5,000BC
The descendants of Rory were the Kurgan people of the Steppes. They were the people who inhabited Mesopotamia before the Sumerians arrived there. From there they became the ancestors of many Gaelic lines including the Brigantes were were ancestors of the Milesians. About 27% of modern British men descend from the 7 founding R1b lines including 23% in Scotland. A third (33%) of Irish men with Gaelic surnames (such as Keegan or Molloy) are descended from Rory. When Rory lived the population of the world was around 5 million - less than the population of London today therefore the population was very sparse and people moved in tribes.
Rory was my ancestor in the Keegan line and also the Molloy and Buchanan lines, since several Molloys and Buchanans (including descendants of President James Buchanan) were DNA tested in the paternal line.
Simon Keegan: Clann MacAodhagain Britain co-ordinator.
Simon's 16xgreatgrandfather was Connor Ruadh MacAodhagain (Connor the Red) who was recorded in history as a warrior and the father of a famous poet. His 21xgreatgrandfather was the original "Simon Keegan" (Simeon MacAodhagain) who was grandson of Donoch Mor MacAodhagain (Duncan the Great MacAodhagain) whose great grandfather was the founder of our Clan.
Simon also has Scottish ancestry on his mother's side from the Highland clan Buchanan (Clann MacAuselaian).
The martial arts have always been an interest and Simon followed in a lengthy family tradition, his father also being a martial arts teacher. Simon began his studies with Spanish swordsmanship, Jujutsu, Japanese sword, boxing and French fencing, followed by Chinese broadsword. He collected various swords over the years including the "Clann MacAodhagain Claymore", a Spanish broadsword (Tizona), a Spanish swept hilt rapier (Colada), French Epee, Basket Hilt Claymore, Indian sabre, various Chinese swords and finally his weapon of choice the folded steel Samurai sword (Katana). On the 249th anniversary of the Battle of Culloden (1746) he visited the battlesite. This is of family interest since Neil MacAodhagain (MacEachain) helped Bonnie Prince Charlie escape afterwards.
Soon after, Simon began 8 years of Budo study with the Bushido Academy. His family tradition in Okinawa actually began in 1778 when Simon's maternal great-great-great-great-greatgrandfather Nils arrived in Dejima then went to live in Okinawa. Simon has also studied various Chinese arts, spending nine years with a Tai Chi school, studying Yang and Sun style and also Chinese sword. He has also studied various white crane styles. Around this time Simon also served with the British Army in the Duke of Lancashire's Own. Since then he has furthered his studies in Karate, Jujutsu, Judo, Kung Fu, Kenjutsu and many more arts with grandmasters from all over the world, from Japan to China to Vancouver. After leaving the army Simon embarked on a career in newspapers, working on various titles across the Northwest including national newspapers, local papers and magazines. He also worked in various other industries including for an antiques trader and internet retail.
The same year he opened his own Dojo he returned to his homeland and visited our clan castle. Since this point he has run his own martial arts school, teaching the Japanese and Chinese martial arts and considers his clan traditions and martial arts traditions to be intertwined.
He is married and enjoys travelling to cities such as New York, Paris, London, Dublin and Edinburgh. In 2012 he was awarded his 5th Dan by the World Union of Karatedo Federations.