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


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 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.

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.


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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 Framed Surname History and Coat of ArmsForhan Framed Surname History and Coat of Arms

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  1. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  2. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  3. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  4. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
  5. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  6. 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).
  7. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  8. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  9. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  10. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  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 10 December 2015 at 15:21.

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