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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

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.


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).


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.


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


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.


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 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 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 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

Bean Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Mr. John Bean U.E who settled in New Brunswick c. 1783 part of the Penobscot Association
  • Mr. Thomas Bean U.E born in New York, USA who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1783

Bean Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Alexander Bean arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Mary Ann" in 1849
  • John Bean arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Boyne" in 1850
  • William Bean arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Blundell" in 1851
  • John Bean, English convict from Kent, who was transported aboard the "Adelaide" on April 16, 1855, settling in Western Australia


  • Phantly Roy Bean Jr., (1825-1903), better known as Judge Roy Bean or the hanging judge, American saloon-keeper and Justice of the Peace in Val Verde County, Texas; he held court in his saloon but only sent two men to the gallows
  • Melissa Luburich Bean (b. 1962), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Illinois (2005-2011)
  • Ronald Clarence "Ron" Bean (1938-2005), American politician, Member of the Louisiana Senate (1992-2004)
  • Joshua H. Bean (1818-1852), American politician, 1st Mayor of San Diego (1850-1851)
  • James L. "Jim" Bean (1933-2013), American politician
  • Joseph William "Joe" Bean (1874-1961), American Major League Baseball shortstop who played for the New York Giants in 1902
  • William Daro "Billy" Bean (b. 1964), American former Major League baseball player
  • Shoshana Elise Bean (b. 1977), American stage actress, singer and songwriter
  • Orson Bean (b. 1928), born Dallas Frederick Burrows, an American film, television, and stage actor, best known as the long-time panelist on the television game show To Tell the Truth
  • Alan LaVern "Al" Bean (b. 1932), American former NASA Astronaut, the fourth person to walk on the Moon



  • 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.

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. Warner, Philip Warner. Famous Scottish Battles. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-004-4).
  2. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  3. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Fairbairn,. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  5. Donaldson, Gordon and Robert S. Morpeth. Who's Who In Scotish History. Wales: Welsh Academic Press, 1996. Print. (ISBN 186057-0054).
  6. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  7. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  8. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  9. Bloxham, Ben. Key to Parochial Registers of Scotland From Earliest Times Through 1854 2nd edition. Provo, UT: Stevenson's Genealogical Center, 1979. Print.
  10. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  11. ...

The Bean Family Crest was acquired from the 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 10 April 2016 at 11:25.

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