MacBain History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The chronicle of the name MacBain begins with a family in the Pictish clans of ancient Scotland. The name is derived from the Gaelic word Beathan or betha which means life. Bean was also the name of a saint in the Breviary of Aberdeen.
Early Origins of the MacBain family
The surname MacBain was first found in Aberdeen (part of the modern Grampian region), where one of the first times the name arose was a Bean who was a magistrate circa 1210. It is known, however, that the MacBains moved to Invernessshire, as sod bearers to the Chiefs of the great Clan Chattan (a powerful confederation of early Clans). The name literally means "son of the fair lad," and was frequently translated to MacBean (Bain.)
Saint Bean or Beyn (fl. 1011), was, according to Fordun, appointed first bishop of Murthlach by Malclom II, at the instance of Pope Benedict VIII. A fragment of the charter of Malcolm II (1003-1029?), preserved in the register of the diocese of Aberdeen confirms this claim.  However, St. Bean is distinctly referred to as a native of Ireland: 'In Hybernia natalis Beani primi episcopi Aberdonensis et confessoris'. 
Early History of the MacBain family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacBain research. Another 139 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1411, 1400, 1550 and 1745 are included under the topic Early MacBain History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
MacBain Spelling Variations
When the first dictionaries were invented in the last few hundred years, spelling gradually became standardized. Before that time, scribes spelled according to sound. Names were often recorded under different spelling variations every time they were written. MacBain has been written Bean, Beane, Beyn, Bayn, Bene, Bane, Baine, Beine, Bayne, Beyne, Been, Beaine, MacBain, MacBean, MacVain, MacBean, MacVan and many more.
Early Notables of the MacBain family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early MacBain Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the MacBain family to Ireland
Some of the MacBain family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the MacBain family
The crossing to North America did not seem so great in comparison with the hardships many Scots endured at home. It was long, expensive, and cramped, but also rewarding. North America offered land and the chance for settlers to prove themselves in a new place. And many did prove themselves as they fought to forge a new nation in the American War of Independence. The ancestors of those Scots can now experience much of their once-lost heritage through the Clan societies and highland games that have sprung up across North America in the last century. A search of immigration and passenger lists revealed many important, early immigrants to North America bearing the name of MacBain: Alexander Bean who settled in Georgia in 1775; Duncan Bean who settled in Jamaica in 1716; Alexander Bain who settled in Maryland in 1774; John Baine settled in south Carolina in 1716.
Contemporary Notables of the name MacBain (post 1700) +
- Warren C. MacBain, American politician, Candidate for New York State Assembly from Onondaga County 3rd District, 1923 
- H. G. MacBain, American politician, Mayor of Glendale, California, 1925-29 
- Bruce D. MacBain, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from New York 31st District, 1996 
Related Stories +
The MacBain 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: Touch not the catt bot a targe
Motto Translation: Touch not the cat without a shield.
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 12) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html