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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, Irish


Bohan is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Bohan family lived in Sussex. Their name, however, does not refer to that area, but to their former place of residence, the town of Bohun, in the French maritime department of La Manche, in western Normandy.

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The surname Bohan was first found in Sussex, where they had been granted lands by King William after the Norman Conquest in 1066.

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Bohon, Bohun, Bone, Boon, Boone, Bohan, Bound and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bohan research. Another 311 words (22 lines of text) covering the years 1176, 1220, 1st , 1215, 1275, 1st , 1298, 1342, 1373, 1368, 1394, 1587, 1660, 1645, 1699 and 1698 are included under the topic Early Bohan History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 247 words (18 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bohan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Bohan family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 137 words (10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Bohan or a variant listed above:

Bohan Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Mary Bohan, who arrived in South Carolina in 1755

Bohan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Thomas Bohan, who landed in America in 1806
  • Matthew Bohan, who landed in New York, NY in 1816
  • James Bohan, who landed in America in 1852
  • Michael Bohan, who arrived in America in 1854
  • Lawrence Bohan, who arrived in America in 1854


Bohan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • John Bohan, aged 15, a farmer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the barque "Independence" from Kinsale
  • Catharine Bohan, aged 12, a farmer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the barque "Independence" from Kinsale
  • Margaret Bohan, aged 10, a farmer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the barque "Independence" from Kinsale
  • Michael Bohan, aged 29, a farmer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the barque "Independence" from Kinsale
  • Ellen Bohan, aged 27, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the barque "Independence" from Kinsale


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  • Thomas Bohan, American politician, Member of Minnesota State House of Representatives 14th District, 1878-80
  • Owen W. Bohan (b. 1880), American Democrat politician, Member of New York State Assembly, 1906-07, 1909
  • Michael J. Bohan, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Oregon, 1996, 2000, 2004; Presidential Elector for Oregon, 2012
  • John R. Bohan, American Democrat politician, Member of Wisconsin State Senate, 1863-64
  • Daniel Joseph Bohan (1941-2016), Canadian prelate of the Catholic Church, Archbishop of the Regina Archdiocese (2005-2016)
  • Mr. James Bohan, Canadian 1st Class Passenger from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking
  • Jim Bohan (b. 1919), former Australian rules footballer
  • Marc Bohan (b. 1926), French fashion designer
  • Edward "Eddie" Joseph Bohan (b. 1932), Irish former politician, member of the Fianna Fáil party


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  1. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  2. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  3. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  4. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  5. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  6. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  7. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  9. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  10. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  11. ...

The Bohan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Bohan 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 18 January 2016 at 15:38.

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