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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the Scottish Bean family come from? What is the Scottish Bean family crest and coat of arms? When did the Bean family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Bean family history?

The ancient Pictish-Scottish name Bean comes from the Gaelic word Beathan or betha which means life. Bean was also the name of a saint in the Breviary of Aberdeen.

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Scribes in the Middle Ages did not have access to a set of spelling rules. They spelled according to sound, the result was a great number of spelling variations. In various documents, Bean has been spelled Bean, Beane, Beyn, Bayn, Bene, Bane, Baine, Beine, Bayne, Beyne, Been, Beaine, MacBain, MacBean, MacVain, MacBean, MacVan and many more.

First found in Aberdeen (part of the modern Grampian region), where one of the first times the name arose was a Bean who was a magistrate circa 1210. It is known, however, that the MacBains moved to Invernessshire, as sod bearers to the Chiefs of the great Clan Chattan (a powerful confederation of early Clans). The name literally means "son of the fair lad," and was frequently translated to MacBean (Bain).


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bean research. Another 194 words(14 lines of text) covering the years 1400, 1411, 1550, and 1745 are included under the topic Early Bean History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Bean Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Bean family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 89 words(6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The cruelties suffered under the new government forced many to leave their ancient homeland for the freedom of the North American colonies. Those who arrived safely found land, freedom, and opportunity for the taking. These hardy settlers gave their strength and perseverance to the young nations that would become the United States and Canada. Immigration and passenger lists have shown many early immigrants bearing the name Bean:

Bean Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Ralph Bean, who arrived in Maryland in 1633
  • Philip Bean, who landed in Salem, Massachusetts in 1638
  • Walter Bean, who arrived in Maryland in 1641
  • Mrs. Walter Bean, who landed in Maryland in 1648
  • John Bean, who landed in New Hampshire in 1660


Bean Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Daniel Bean, who arrived in New York, NY in 1715
  • Duncan Bean who settled in Jamaica in 1716
  • Thomas Bean, who arrived in Virginia in 1724
  • Frans Carl Bean, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1768
  • Alexander Bean who settled in Georgia in 1775


Bean Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Joseph R Bean, who landed in America in 1811
  • Nicholas Bean, who arrived in New York, NY in 1817
  • Juan Bean, who arrived in Puerto Rico in 1823
  • Lames Bean, aged 45, landed in New Orleans, La in 1847
  • A Bean, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850


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  • Roy Bean, American Justice of the peace and saloonkeeper
  • William Frederick Bean (b. 1933), American jazz musician
  • Alan LaVern Bean (b. 1932), American former NASA Astronaut
  • Leon Leonwood Bean (1872-1967), American author, outdoor enthusiast, founder of the company L.L.Bean (1912)
  • Thomas Andrew Bean (b. 1953), American PGA professional golfer
  • Tarleton Hoffman Bean (1846-1916), American ichthyologist
  • Sean Bean (b. 1959), English film actor
  • Charles Edwin Woodrow Bean (1879-1968), Australian journalist
  • Anthony R. Bean (b. 1957), Australian botanist
  • Marcus Tristam Bean (b. 1984), English-born, Jamaican international footballer


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  • Genealogy of the Family of William Watson and Nancy Hoty Bean Roberts by Richard C. Roberts.
  • William Bean, Pioneer of Tennessee, and His Descendants by Jamie Ault Grady.
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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Touch not the catt bot a targe
Motto Translation: Touch not the cat without a shield.

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  1. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  2. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  3. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  4. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  5. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  6. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  7. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. Acts of Malcom IV 1153-65 Volume I Regesta Regum Scottorum 1153-1424. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1960. Print.
  8. Black, George F. The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3).
  9. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
  10. Moody David. Scottish Family History. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0806312688).
  11. ...

The Bean Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Bean Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 3 December 2013 at 19:30.

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