Bawn History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The ancestors of the Bawn family were part of an ancient Scottish tribe called the Picts. The name Bawn is derived from the Gaelic word Beathan or betha which means life. Bean was also the name of a saint in the Breviary of Aberdeen.
Early Origins of the Bawn family
The surname Bawn was 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.)
Saint Bean or Beyn ( fl. 1011), was, according to Fordun, appointed first bishop of Murthlach by Malclom II, at the instance of Pope Benedict VIII. A fragment of the charter of Malcolm II (1003-1029?), preserved in the register of the diocese of Aberdeen confirms this claim.  However, St. Bean is distinctly referred to as a native of Ireland: 'In Hybernia natalis Beani primi episcopi Aberdonensis et confessoris'. 
Early History of the Bawn family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bawn research. Another 139 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1411, 1400, 1550 and 1745 are included under the topic Early Bawn History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bawn Spelling Variations
The appearance of the printing press and the first dictionaries in the last few hundred years did much to standardize spelling. Prior to that time scribes spelled according to sound, a practice that resulted in many spelling variations. Bawn has been spelled Bean, Beane, Beyn, Bayn, Bene, Bane, Baine, Beine, Bayne, Beyne, Been, Beaine, MacBain, MacBean, MacVain, MacBean, MacVan and many more.
Early Notables of the Bawn family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Bawn Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Bawn family to Ireland
Some of the Bawn family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Bawn migration to the United States +
The expense of the crossing to the North American colonies seemed small beside the difficulties of remaining in Scotland. It was a long and hard trip, but at its end lay the reward of freedom. Some Scots remained faithful to England and called themselves United Empire Loyalists, while others fought in the American War of Independence. Much of this lost Scottish heritage has been recovered in the last century through Clan societies and other patriotic Scottish organizations. A search of immigration and passenger lists revealed many important, early immigrants to North America bearing the name of Bawn:
Bawn Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Mary Bawn, who settled in Annapolis, Maryland in 1725
Bawn Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- John Bawn, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1854
Bawn migration to Canada +
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
Bawn Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
- Mr. Samuel Bawn U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1783 
Bawn migration to New Zealand +
Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:
Bawn Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- Charles Bawn, who landed in Bay of Islands, New Zealand in 1836 aboard the ship Patriot
Contemporary Notables of the name Bawn (post 1700) +
- Colleen Bawn, Irish girl who inspired a prospector to name a mine after her, which later grew to be a town so named in Zimbabwe
- Kathleen Bawn, Associate Professor of Political Science at UCLA
Related Stories +
The Bawn Motto +
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.
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X