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

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

The Skehan surname is thought to be derived from the Aberdeenshire parish of the same name. Legend has it that the first bearer of the name was second son of Struan Robertson, who saved king Malcolm II (circa 1014) by slaying a wolf with his "sgian," or "skene," (Scottish dagger) in Stocket Forest. which meant "a dagger." It is said that he was rewarded with the lands of Skene and henceforth used the name Skene.

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Spelling variations of this family name include: Skene, Skeyne, Skeen, Skeene, Skin and many more.

First found in Aberdeenshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Obar Dheathain), a historic county, and present day Council Area of Aberdeen, located in the Grampian region of northeastern Scotland, where they held a family seat sometime before the year 1250. The family had always maintained the rank of free Barons and held the Castle Skene, and the Earldom of Mar in Aberdeen.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Skehan research. Another 202 words(14 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1317, 1411, 1543, 1597, 1617, 1809, 1825, 1881, and 1892 are included under the topic Early Skehan History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 88 words(6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Skehan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: John Skene who settled in West New Jersey in 1664; Robert Skene, who was on record in Maryland in 1700; Thomas Skene, who arrived in South Carolina in 1760.

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  • Noel Skehan (b. 1945), Irish retired sportsperson from Bennettsbridge, County Kilkenny
  • John Skehan (1922-1992), Irish broadcaster on RTÉ, radio and television
  • Donal Skehan (b. 1986), Irish singer, television personality, food writer and chef
  • Philip "Phil" Skehan (1894-1921), Australian rules footballer


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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: Virtutis regia merces
Motto Translation: A palace the reward of bravery.

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  1. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  2. Warner, Philip Warner. Famous Scottish Battles. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-004-4).
  3. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
  4. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  5. Adam, Frank. Clans Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands 8th Edition. London: Bacon (G.W.) & Co, 1970. Print. (ISBN 10-0717945006).
  6. 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).
  7. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  8. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. The Charters of David I The Written Acts of David I King of Scots, 1124-53 and of His Son Henry, Earl of Northumerland, 1139-52. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1999. Print.
  9. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  10. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Skehan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Skehan 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 1 September 2013 at 12:04.

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