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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the Scottish McVann family come from? What is the Scottish McVann family crest and coat of arms? When did the McVann family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the McVann family history?

The history of the McVann family begins among the Pictish clans ancient Scotland. The name McVann comes from the Gaelic word Beathan or betha which means life. Bean was also the name of a saint in the Breviary of Aberdeen.

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In the Middle ages, spelling and translation were not yet regulated by any general rules. spelling variations in names were common even among members of one family unit. McVann has appeared Bean, Beane, Beyn, Bayn, Bene, Bane, Baine, Beine, Bayne, Beyne, Been, Beaine, MacBain, MacBean, MacVain, MacBean, MacVan and many more.

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).


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McVann research. Another 194 words(14 lines of text) covering the years 1400, 1411, 1550, and 1745 are included under the topic Early McVann History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early McVann Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the McVann family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 89 words(6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Faced by this persecution and the generally unstable political climate of those days, many Scots chose to leave their homeland for Ireland, Australia, and North America in search of greater opportunity and freedom. The colonies across the Atlantic were the most popular choice, but a passage there was neither cheap nor easily suffered. Passengers arrived sick and poor, but those who made it intact often found land and more tolerant societies in which to live. These brave settlers formed the backbone of the burgeoning nations of Canada and the United States. It is only this century that the ancestors of these families have begun to recover their collective identity through the patriotic highland games and Clan societies that have sprung up throughout North America. Research into early immigration and passenger lists revealed many immigrants bearing the name McVann: 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.

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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: Touch not the catt bot a targe
Motto Translation: Touch not the cat without a shield.

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  1. Warner, Philip Warner. Famous Scottish Battles. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-004-4).
  2. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  3. Fulton, Alexander. Scotland and Her Tartans: The Romantic Heritage of the Scottish Clans and Families. Godalming: Bramley, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-86283-880-0).
  4. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  5. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  6. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  7. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  8. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. The Charters of David I The Written Acts of David I King of Scots, 1124-53 and of His Son Henry, Earl of Northumerland, 1139-52. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1999. Print.
  9. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  10. Prebble, John. The Highland Clearances. London: Secker & Warburg, 1963. Print.
  11. ...

The McVann Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McVann 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 13:17.

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