Project Description



John Timothy McKeough was born in Roscommon, Ireland and emigrated to Middletown, Connecticut at some time prior to his marriage to Abigail Brown at Christ Church, Middletown  on May 29,1758. Six children were born to this couple including John born about 1762.

John McKeough and his father, John Timothy McKeough came to the Town Point area of Antigonish around 1786 and they were granted land in Lakeville by King George III in 1801. This land transaction was facilitated by their good friend Colonel Timothy Hierlihy who is regarded by many as the founder of Antigonish.

John married Isabel MacDonald, daughter of Donald, who was from Arisaig, around 1795 in Morristown, Antigonish. It is believed that Isabella converted her John McKeough to become a Catholic as her Scottish lineage was Catholic. John made the move to Little Tracadie (now Linwood) in 1799 to occupy 550 acres of land acquired from Claude and Jean-Baptiste Coste, Among other reasons for this move, there was a Catholic priest serving Tracadie and surrounding area. It seems his father John Timothy followed his son John to Little Tracadie and the Morristown land was sold to Isabella’s father, Allan MacDomald.

John and Isabel had eight children all born in Linwood except for their oldest daughter.

  • Catherine McKeough, born 1796 in Morristown.
  • Donald McKeough, born in 1800 in Linwood
  • Timothy McKeough, born in 1801
  • Jane “Jeannette” McKeough, born in 1802
  • John McKeough, born in 1805
  • Michael McKeough, born December 1st, 1814
  • Jeremiah McKeough, born March 28th, 1816
  • John “William” McKeough, born in 1821

These McKeough’s are the progenitors of virtually all of the McKeough’s who originate in Antigonish County. John McKeough, the pioneer, died February 16th, 1825. He has a headstone on Crispo land in Havre Boucher on a site formerly occupied by St. Mary’s Chapel. It reads “In momory of John McKeough who departed this life Feb 16, 1825 aged 64. He was born in Middletown, Conn.

It is not uncommon to get the Guysborough McKeoughs who remained Protestant confused with the Linwood ones, as they bore similar names. One theory is that John Timothy had a second son also referred to as John. This John was born in 1767 in Connecticut, married a Ruth Godfrey in 1799 in Guysborough and died in Guysborough in 1838.