FATHER: Unknown, probably son or grandson of Justice James McKeen.
PERSONAL DATA: The McKeens are descended from the Scottish MacIain clan who held sway over the Ardnamurchan Peninsula of southwestern Scotland. Our records date from the 1600's in Ballymoney, Northern Ireland where our branch moved to. Several McKeens came to Londonderry, NH in 1719, and were the first McKeens in America.
Evidence of William's birthplace, parents and wife have not been found to date. There is strong evidence that he was related to the McKeens of Derry, NH who settled there in 1719. The baptismal records of those early years are fragmentary, and there are none for William. He may have been a son or grandson of James, a leader of the Town of Derry. His wife Nancy is recorded as coming to NB from Litchfield, CN.
William was recorded in the 1775 census of Conway Twp, Sunbury Cty, NB with a household of two men, five boys, one woman and one girl. This is the final number of children of William and Nancy. All but son William are named in his will.
His third son Robert (b abt 1765) left Maugerville, married Sarah Cunnabell about 1780 and came to Macnaquac. He applied for a land grant there in 1804 with five other men including his younger brother John, and Francis Isaac Kilburn. The latter married his daughter Mehetable that year. Robert and Sarah McKeen had three boys and six girls. He died in 1813 and left a will recorded in Queensbury Parish naming all nine children.
1. See the author's book Fathers and Mothers, 2002, 328 pp, Ch6 regarding the history and genealogy of the clan and this fascinating branch. It is available from the author at 6695 Terry Court, Arvada, CO 80007 and email: [email protected]
2. C McKean, 1902, McKean Genealogies, gives a great deal of McKean (McKeen) genealogy.
3. E C Wright, 1978, Planters and Pioneers of Nova Scotia, describes the Robert McKeen family that settled on the St. John River [should be William not Robert.]
4. The Provincial Archives of NB in Fredericton have copies of all land grants, censuses, newspapers and wills plus much additional information on the McKeens.
5. The files of descendant Hubert Bryant of Woodstock, NB are the most complete about the McKeens of NB and may be available at the NB archives. Hubert is deceased but did a magnificent job of detailing the McKeen genealogy as well as other families in his line.