Kevan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Kevan comes from the original Irish O Geibheannaigh or Mac Geibheannaigh.

Early Origins of the Kevan family

The surname Kevan was first found in County Galway (Irish: Gaillimh) part of the province of Connacht, located on the west coast of the Island, which is the principal homeland of the sept O Geibheannaigh. The O Geibheannaigh sept belonged to the Ui Maine (Hy Many) and descended from Geibheannach, the son of a Hy Many chief slain in 971. There was also a County Fermanagh sept called Mac Geibheannaigh mentioned in the Annals of Loch Ce in 1308.

Early History of the Kevan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kevan research. Another 73 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1590 and 1599 are included under the topic Early Kevan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kevan Spelling Variations

Names from the Middle Ages demonstrate many spelling variations. This is because the recording scribe or church official often decided as to how a person's name was spelt and in what language. Research into the name Kevan revealed many variations, including Keaveney, Keveney, Kevany, Geaveny, Geaney, Geane, Gaine, Gainey, O'Keaveney, O'Geaney and many more.

Early Notables of the Kevan family (pre 1700)

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

United States Kevan migration to the United States +

During the 19th century thousands of impoverished Irish families made the long journey to British North America and the United States. These people were leaving a land that had become beset with poverty, lack of opportunity, and hunger. In North America, they hoped to find land, work, and political and religious freedoms. Although the majority of the immigrants that survived the long sea passage did make these discoveries, it was not without much perseverance and hard work: by the mid-19th century land suitable for agriculture was short supply, especially in British North America, in the east; the work available was generally low paying and physically taxing construction or factory work; and the English stereotypes concerning the Irish, although less frequent and vehement, were, nevertheless, present in the land of freedom, liberty, and equality for all men. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. Research into passenger and immigration lists has brought forth evidence of the early members of the Kevan family in North America:

Kevan Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Andrew Kevan, aged 39, who arrived in New York in 1799 [1]
  • William Kevan, aged 33, who arrived in New York in 1799 [1]
Kevan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Kevan, aged 27, who landed in New York in 1812 [1]

New Zealand Kevan 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:

Kevan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Kevan, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840

Contemporary Notables of the name Kevan (post 1700) +

  • Martin Kevan (1947-2013), Canadian actor, voice actor, and author
  • Derek Tennyson Kevan (1935-2013), English footballer who won 14 caps for the England national football team, scoring a total of eight goals, including two in the 1958 FIFA World Cup Finals
  • David John "Dave" Kevan (b. 1968), former Scottish footballer
  • Rodney Kevan Bickerstaffe (1945-2017), British trade unionist, 2nd President of the National Pensioners Convention (2001-2005), 2nd General Secretary of UNISON (1996-2001)
  • Mr. Kevan Bolam O.B.E., British Lieutenant Colonel for Royal Corps of Signals, recipient of Officer of the Order of the British Empire on 8th June 2018 [2]
  • Kevan McKiddy, American actor, known for his role in Left 4 Dead: Impulse 76 Fan Film(2011)
  • Kevan Broadhurst (b. 1959), English footballer and football manager

The Kevan Motto +

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: Turris fortis mihi Deus
Motto Translation: God is a tower of strength to me.

  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, on Facebook
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