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


The surname McMeans originally appeared in Gaelic as "O Miadhachain," which is derived from the word miadhach, meaning honorable.

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The surname McMeans was first found in County Leitrim (Irish: Liatroim) anciently the western half of the kingdom of Breifne, located in Northeastern Ireland, in Leinster province, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

Within the archives researched, many different spelling variations of the surname McMeans were found. These included One reason for the many variations is that scribes and church officials often spelled an individual's name as it sounded. This imprecise method often led to many versions. Meighan, Meehan, Meegin, Meeghen, Meegan, Meakin, Meakins, Mekins, Mehan, Mehen, Mehigan, Mehegan, O'Meighan, O'Meehan and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McMeans research. Another 204 words (15 lines of text) covering the year 1172 is included under the topic Early McMeans History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 24 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McMeans Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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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 McMeans family in North America:

McMeans Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Mrs. C McMeans, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1855

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  1. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  5. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  6. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  7. 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.
  8. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
  9. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  10. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The McMeans Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McMeans 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 27 October 2010 at 13:51.

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