Foran History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Hundreds of years ago, the Gaelic name used by the Foran family in Ireland was O Fuarain or in some records O Furanain.

Early Origins of the Foran family

The surname Foran was first found in Connacht (Irish: Connachta, (land of the) descendants of Conn), where they were firstly known as Macgiollarnath or Mac Gilla na Naomh, meaning 'son of the devotee of the saints', which, through mistranslation and time emerged as an off-shoot of the main Clan through a chieftain O'Fuarthain or O'Fuarain, which, in English, became Foran.

Early History of the Foran family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Foran research. Another 142 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1355, and 1816 are included under the topic Early Foran History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Foran Spelling Variations

Irish names were rarely spelled consistently in the Middle Ages. Spelling variations of the name Foran dating from that time include Foran, Forhane, Forahan, Forhan, Foreham and many more.

Early Notables of the Foran family (pre 1700)

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


United States Foran migration to the United States +

To escape the religious and political discrimination they experienced primarily at the hands of the English, thousands of Irish left their homeland in the 19th century. These migrants typically settled in communities throughout the East Coast of North America, but also joined the wagon trains moving out to the Midwest. Ironically, when the American War of Independence began, many Irish settlers took the side of England, and at the war's conclusion moved north to Canada. These United Empire Loyalists, were granted land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula. Other Irish immigrants settled in Newfoundland, the Ottawa Valley, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, however, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America and Australia. Many of those numbers, however, did not live through the long sea passage. These Irish settlers to North America were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. Irish settlers made an inestimable contribution to the building of the New World. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the Irish name Foran or a variant listed above, including:

Foran Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Danl Foran, who landed in Virginia in 1702 [1]
Foran Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Foran, who settled in New York State in 1804
  • Michael Foran, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1834
  • Edward Foran, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1838 [1]
  • John Foran, who arrived in Boston in 1847
  • James Foran, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1848 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Foran migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Foran Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century
  • André Foran married in Laprairie, Quebec in 1684
Foran Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Edward Foran, who settled in Bell Island, Newfoundland in 1812 [2]
  • John Foran, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1835
  • Miss. Catherine Foran, aged 2 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Araminta" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle in July 1847 [3]
  • Mr. James Foran, aged 51 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Rose" departing 19th April 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 1st July 1847 but he died on board [4]
  • Mr. John Foran, aged 4 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Rose" departing 19th April 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 1st July 1847 but he died on board [4]

Australia Foran migration to Australia +

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

Foran Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Foran, (Forau), (b. 1818), aged 21, Irish harness maker who was convicted in Dublin, Ireland for 10 years for receiving stolen goods, transported aboard the "Blenheim" on 19th May 1839, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land), he died in 1862 [5]

New Zealand Foran 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:

Foran Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Rev. Foran, Australian settler travelling from Sydney aboard the ship "Easby" arriving in Port Chalmers, Otago, New Zealand on 31st October 1874 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Foran (post 1700) +

  • Sergeant Nicholas "Sam" Foran (1844-1927), Irish-born, American soldier awarded the Medal of Honor for gallantry in several engagements against the Apache Indians in the Arizona Territory from August to October 1868
  • James H. "Jim" Foran (1848-1928), American Major League Baseball player who played from the Fort Wayne Kekiongas in 1871
  • John Nicholas "Dick" Foran (1910-1979), American actor, known for his roles in The Petrified Forest (1936), Fort Apache (1948) and The Mummy's Hand (1940), awarded a Star on the Walk of Fame
  • Seán Foran (1931-2015), Irish Gaelic footballer
  • Richard "Richie" Foran (b. 1980), Irish footballer
  • Liam Foran (b. 1988), New Zealand professional rugby league footballer, brother of Kieran Foran
  • John Winston Foran (b. 1952), Canadian politician from New Brunswick, Minister of Public Safety (2006-2010)
  • Mark Foran (b. 1973), English former professional footballer
  • William Michael Foran (1871-1945), Canadian ice hockey executive, Stanley Cup trustee
  • Charles Foran (b. 1960), Canadian novelist awarded the inaugural Hilary Weston Prize for non-fiction, the Charles Taylor Prize for literary non-fiction, and the Governor General's Literary Award
  • ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Halifax Explosion
  • Mrs. Annie  Foran, Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [7]
  • Mr. Edward Michael  Foran (1885-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [7]
  • Mr. Thomas Patrick  Foran (1889-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [7]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Michael Foran, British Boy, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [8]


The Foran 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: Lucrum Christi mihi
Motto Translation: Without Christ, there is no light.


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  3. ^ 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. 29)
  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. 76)
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 15th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/blenheim
  6. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  7. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  8. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html


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