Bean History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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.

Early Origins of the Bean family

The surname Bean 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. [1] However, St. Bean is distinctly referred to as a native of Ireland: 'In Hybernia natalis Beani primi episcopi Aberdonensis et confessoris'. [1]

Early History of the Bean family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bean research. Another 139 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1411, 1400, 1550 and 1745 are included under the topic Early Bean History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bean Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Bean family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Bean family to Ireland

Some of the Bean 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.


United States Bean migration to the United States +

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 [2]
  • Philip Bean, who landed in Salem, Massachusetts in 1638 [2]
  • Walter Bean, who arrived in Maryland in 1641 [2]
  • Mrs. Walter Bean, who landed in Maryland in 1648 [2]
  • John Bean, who landed in New Hampshire in 1660 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Bean Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Daniel Bean, who arrived in New York, NY in 1715 [2]
  • Duncan Bean who settled in Jamaica in 1716
  • Thomas Bean, who arrived in Virginia in 1724 [2]
  • Frans Carl Bean, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1768 [2]
  • Alexander Bean who settled in Georgia in 1775
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Bean Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Joseph R Bean, who landed in America in 1811 [2]
  • Nicholas Bean, who arrived in New York, NY in 1817 [2]
  • Juan Bean, who arrived in Puerto Rico in 1823 [2]
  • Lames Bean, aged 45, who landed in New Orleans, La in 1847 [2]
  • A Bean, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Bean migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

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 [3]
  • Mr. Thomas Bean U.E. born in New York, USA who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1783 [3]
Bean Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Bean, aged who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "George" departing 13th April 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 12th June 1847 but he died on board [4]

Australia Bean migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Bean Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Bean, (b. 1775), aged 28, British convict who was convicted in London, England for life for larceny, transported aboard the "Calcutta" in February 1803, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1841 [5]
  • Alexander Bean, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Mary Ann" in 1849 [6]
  • John Bean, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Boyne" in 1850 [7]
  • William Bean, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Blundell" in 1851 [8]
  • John Bean, English convict from Kent, who was transported aboard the "Adelaide" on April 16, 1855, settling in Western Australia [9]

New Zealand Bean 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:

Bean Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Bean, Australian settler travelling from Hobart, Tasmania, Australia with 2 children aboard the ship "Bandicoot" arriving in New Zealand in 1846 [10]
  • Mr. J. Bean, Australian settler travelling from Hobart, Tasmania, Australia aboard the ship "Bandicoot" arriving in New Zealand in 1846 [10]
  • Mr. Bean, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship 'Merchantman' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand and Auckland New Zealand on 6th September 1855 [10]
  • Mrs. Bean, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship 'Merchantman' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand and Auckland New Zealand on 6th September 1855 [10]
  • Mr. Frederick Bean, (b. 1831), aged 25, British cook travelling from London aboard the ship "Isabella Hercus" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 4th January 1856 [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Bean (post 1700) +

  • Orson Bean (1928-2020), 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; he was a favorite of Johnny Carson, appearing on The Tonight Show over 200 times
  • Alan LaVern "Al" Bean (1932-2018), American naval officer and naval aviator, aeronautical engineer, test pilot and NASA Astronaut, the fourth person to walk on the Moon [11]
  • 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
  • ... (Another 75 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


The Bean 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.


Suggested Readings for the name Bean +

  • 834 "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.

  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  3. ^ 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
  4. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 65)
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/calcutta
  6. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The MARY ANN 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849MaryAnn.htm
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The barque BOYNE 1850, 521 tons. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1850Boyne.htm
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) BLUNDELL 1851. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1851Blundell.htm
  9. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 17) Adelaide voyage to Western Australia, Australia in 1855 with 261 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/adelaide/1855
  10. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  11. ^ NASA Astronauts Homepage. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Alan Bean. Retrieved from http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/bean-al.html


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