Forhan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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

Early Origins of the Forhan family

The surname Forhan 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 Forhan.

Important Dates for the Forhan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Forhan research. Another 142 words (10 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 and printed products wherever possible.

Forhan Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Forhan family (pre 1700)

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

Forhan migration to Canada

Ireland became inhospitable for many native Irish families in the 19th centuries. Poverty, lack of opportunities, high rents, and discrimination forced thousands to leave the island for North America. The largest exodus of Irish settlers occurred with the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. For these immigrants the journey to British North America and the United States was long and dangerous and many did not live to see the shores of those new lands. Those who did make it were essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest and most powerful nations of the world. These Irish immigrants were not only important for peopling the new settlements and cities, they also provided the manpower needed for the many industrial and agricultural projects so essential to these growing nations. Immigration and passenger lists have documented the arrival of various people bearing the name Forhan to North America:

Forhan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Forhan lived in Harbour Grace, Newfoundland in 1814 [1]

Forhan migration to Australia

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

Forhan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Johanna Forhan, aged 20, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Dirigo" [2]
  • Mary Forhan, aged 22, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Dirigo" [2]

Forhan 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:

Forhan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Margaret Forhan, aged 24, a servant, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rakaia" in 1878

Contemporary Notables of the name Forhan (post 1700)

  • Chris Forhan, American poet and professor at Butler University, awarded a fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts and two Pushcart Prizes
  • Robert Norman "Bob" Forhan (1936-2018), Canadian silver medalist ice hockey right winger at the 1960 Winter Olympics, Mayor of Newmarket, Ontario (1971–1978)

Citations

  1. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  2. ^ South Australian Register Thursday 23rd November 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Dirigo 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/dirigo1854.shtml.
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