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


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

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The surname Forehand 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 Forehand.

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


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Forehand research. Another 254 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1355, and 1816 are included under the topic Early Forehand History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Thousands of Irish families left for North American shores in the 19th century. These people were searching for a life unencumbered with poverty, hunger, and racial discrimination. Many arrived to eventually find such conditions, but many others simply did not arrive: victims of the diseased, overcrowded ships in which they traveled to the New World. Those who lived to see North American shores were instrumental in the development of the growing nations of Canada and the United States. A thorough examination of passenger and immigration lists has disclosed evidence of many early immigrants of the name Forehand:

Forehand Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Gillian Forehand arrived in Maryland in 1671

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  • John Forehand (b. 1965), American professional football player
  • Jennie M. Forehand (b. 1935), American politician, Member of the Maryland Senate (1995-)
  • Joe Forehand, American former Chairman of the board and former CEO of Accenture, current Chairman of the Board at First Data Corporation
  • Art Forehand, American State Official, Tallahassee, Florida


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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.

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  1. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  2. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  3. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  4. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  5. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  6. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  7. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  8. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  9. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  10. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Forehand Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Forehand 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 16 April 2016 at 15:23.

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