Home   |   Customer Service   |   Site Map   |   Name Search   |   How To Buy

Shopping Cart
0 Items
FREE SHIPPING on orders of $85 or more
An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

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

The Irish name Behan comes from the Gaelic name O Beachain, possibly derived from the word "beach," which means "bee." It was also an Anglicized version of the Gaelic personal name Beathán, from "beatha," meaning "life."


The recording of names in Ireland in the Middle Ages was an inconsistent endeavor at best. The many regional dialects and the predominate illiteracy would have made common surnames appear unrelated to the scribes of the period. Research into the name Behan revealed spelling variations, including Behan, Beehan, Beaghan, O'Behan, Beehan, Beagan, O'Beaghan, O'Behen, Behen and many more.

First found in County Kerry (Irish:Ciarraí) part of the former County Desmond (14th-17th centuries), located in Southwestern Ireland, in Munster province, where they held a family seat from ancient times.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Behan research. Another 186 words (13 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Behan History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


Irish families began to immigrate to British North America and the United States in the 18th century, but the greatest influx of Irish immigrants came during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. The earlier settlers came to North America after a great deal of consideration and by paying relatively high fees for their passage. These settlers were primarily drawn by the promise of land. Those later settlers that came during the 1840's were trying to escape the conditions of poverty, starvation, disease, and death that had stricken Ireland. Due to the enormity of their numbers and the late date of their arrival, these immigrants primarily became hired laborers instead of homesteading settlers like their predecessors. An exhaustive search of immigration and passenger lists has revealed many Irish immigrants North America bearing the name Behan:

Behan Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Maria Christiana Behan came to Philadelphia in 1732

Behan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • James Behan who arrived in New York City in 1822
  • Mrs. Behan, aged 24, landed in America in 1822
  • James Behan, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County,Pennsylvania in 1823
  • James Behan arrived in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania in 1823
  • Thomas Behan, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1830

Behan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • William Behan, aged 23, a labourer, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Dilharree" in 1875


  • John Harris Behan, American sheriff of Cochise County, Arizona during the gunfight at the O.K. Corral
  • John Behan (b. 1938), Irish sculptor
  • Brendan Behan (1923-1964), Irish author, playwright, member of the Irish Republican Army
  • Dominic Behan (1928-1989), Irish novelist, songwriter, playwright and folklorist
  • Sir John Clifford Valentine Behan (1881-1957), Australian academic, warden of the Trinity College, University of Melbourne and the first Victorian Rhodes Scholar


Most Popular Family Crest Products
Behan Armorial History With Coat of ArmsBehan Armorial History With Coat of Arms
Behan Coat of Arms & Surname History PackageBehan Coat of Arms & Surname History Package
Behan Family Crest Image (jpg) Heritage SeriesBehan Family Crest Image (jpg) Heritage Series
Behan Coat of Arms/Family Crest Key-chainBehan Coat of Arms/Family Crest Key-chain
Behan Coat of Arms/Family Crest Coffee MugBehan Coat of Arms/Family Crest Coffee Mug
Behan Armorial History with FrameBehan Armorial History with Frame
Behan Framed Surname History and Coat of ArmsBehan Framed Surname History and Coat of Arms



  1. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  2. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  3. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  4. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
  5. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  6. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
  7. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  8. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
  9. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  10. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  11. ...

The Behan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Behan 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 19 November 2015 at 20:55.

Sign Up

FREE SHIPPING on orders of $85 or more