Kewan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The sea-swept Hebrides islands and the west coast of Scotland are the ancestral home of the Kewan family. Their name comes from the personal name Ewen. The Gaelic form of the name was Mac Eoghainn.

Early Origins of the Kewan family

The surname Kewan was first found in Argyllshire (Gaelic erra Ghaidheal), the region of western Scotland corresponding roughly with the ancient Kingdom of Dál Riata, in the Strathclyde region of Scotland, now part of the Council Area of Argyll and Bute, where they were first found in the barony of Otter, on the shores of Loch Fyne. The eponymous ancestor of the Clan is reputed to be Eoghain na h-Oitrich, also known as 'Ewen of Otter', who lived at the beginning of the 12th century. Clear records of the Clan were found in 1219, when Gilpatrik Mac Ewen measured the borders of his lands in Kynblathmund.

Early History of the Kewan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kewan research. Another 123 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1174 and 1219 are included under the topic Early Kewan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kewan Spelling Variations

Medieval translation of Gaelic names could not be referred to as an accurate process. Spelling was not yet standardized, and names in documents from that era are riddled with spelling variations. Kewan has been written as MacEwen, MacEwan, MacEwing, MacEuen, MacKewin, MacKewan, MacEòghainn (Gaelic) and many more.

Early Notables of the Kewan family (pre 1700)

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


United States Kewan migration to the United States +

Many of the ancestors of Dalriadan families who arrived in North America still live in communities along the east coast of Canada and the United States. In the American War of Independence many of the original settlers traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries the ancestors of many Scots began recovering their collective national heritage through Clan societies, highland games, and other patriotic events. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Kewan or a variant listed above:

Kewan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • A Kewan, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [1]
  • T Kewan, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [1]

Canada Kewan migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Kewan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • John Kewan, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1832

New Zealand Kewan 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:

Kewan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Margaret Kewan, (b. 1865), aged 18, British settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Nelson" arriving in Invercargill, Southland, South Island, New Zealand on 20th October 1883 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Kewan (post 1700) +

  • Edward J. C. Kewan, American Democrat politician, California State Attorney General, 1849-50; resigned 1850; Member of California State Assembly 2nd District, 1863-65 [3]


The Kewan 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: Reviresco
Motto Translation: I grow green


  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. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  3. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 7) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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