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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 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. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  2. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  3. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1978. 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. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  6. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
  7. 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).
  8. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
  9. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  10. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  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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