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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

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

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

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The Middle Ages saw a great number of spelling variations for surnames common to the Irish landscape. One reason for these variations is the fact that surnames were not rigidly fixed by this period because the general population had to rely on local official's understanding of how their name should be spelt, hence spellings in records often changed through a person's lifetime. The following variations for the name Forhan were encountered in the archives: Foran, Forhane, Forahan, Forhan, Foreham and many more.

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 Forhan.


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

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

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Forhan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Thomas Forhan lived in Harbour Grace, Newfoundland in 1814

Forhan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Johanna Forhan, aged 20, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Dirigo"
  • Mary Forhan, aged 22, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Dirigo"

Forhan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Margaret Forhan, aged 24, a servant, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rakaia" in 1878

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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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Forhan Armorial History With Coat of ArmsForhan Armorial History With Coat of Arms
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Forhan Framed Surname History and Coat of ArmsForhan Framed Surname History and Coat of Arms
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  1. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  2. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
  3. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  4. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  5. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  6. McDonnell, Frances. Emigrants from Ireland to America 1735-1743 A Transcription of the report of the Irish House of Commons into Enforced emigration to America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1331-5).
  7. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  8. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  9. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  10. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
  11. ...

The Forhan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Forhan 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 9 February 2012 at 15:04.

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