Means History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Means originally appeared in Gaelic as "O Miadhachain," which is derived from the word miadhach, meaning honorable. [1]

Early Origins of the Means family

The surname Means was first found in County Leitrim (Irish: Liatroim) anciently the western half of the kingdom of Breifne, located in Northeastern Ireland, in Leinster province, Originally, "Ó Miadhacháin, this is the name of at least two distinct septs; it is now equally distributed throughout the four provinces." [2]

Early History of the Means family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Means research. Another 92 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 117 and 1172 are included under the topic Early Means History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Means Spelling Variations

Many spelling variations of the surname Means can be found in the archives. One reason for these variations is that ancient scribes and church officials recorded names as they were pronounced, often resulting in a single person being recorded under several different spellings. The different spellings that were found include Meighan, Meehan, Meegin, Meeghen, Meegan, Meakin, Meakins, Mekins, Mehan, Mehen, Mehigan, Mehegan, O'Meighan, O'Meehan and many more.

Early Notables of the Means family (pre 1700)

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

Means Ranking

In the United States, the name Means is the 1,923rd most popular surname with an estimated 17,409 people with that name. [3]

United States Means migration to the United States +

Irish families left their homeland in astonishing numbers during the 19th century in search of a better life. Although individual reasons vary, most of these Irish families suffered from extreme poverty, lack of work opportunities, and exorbitant rents in their homeland. Many decided to travel to Australia or North America in the hopes of finding greater opportunities and land. The Irish immigrants that came to North America initially settled on the East Coast, often in major centers such as Boston or New York. But like the many other cultures to settle in North America, the Irish traveled to almost any region they felt held greater promise; as a result, many Irish with gold fever moved all the way out to the Pacific coast. Others before that time left for land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula, or the Maritimes as United Empire Loyalists, for many Irish did choose to side with the English during the American War of Independence. The earliest wave of Irish migration, however, occurred during the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s. An examination of early immigration and passenger lists has revealed many people bearing the Means name:

Means Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Robert Means, who landed in New Hampshire in 1766 [4]
  • Sam L Means, who arrived in Mississippi in 1798 [4]
Means Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Joseph Means, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1808 [4]
  • James, Means Jr., who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1809 [4]
  • Edward Means, who arrived in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1829 [4]
Means Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • A. M. Means, who settled in America, in 1907
  • Charles Means, aged 7, who settled in America, in 1909
  • Albert Means, aged 26, who landed in America, in 1914
  • Anne Means, aged 70, who immigrated to the United States, in 1914

Canada Means migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Means Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • T Means, who landed in Victoria, British Columbia in 1862

Contemporary Notables of the name Means (post 1700) +

  • Marianne Means (1934-2017), née Hansen, American syndicated political columnist and White House correspondent
  • Brigadier-General Lewis M. Means (1890-1971), American Commanding General 70th Brigade (1938-1942) [5]
  • Russell Charles Means (1939-2012), Oglala Sioux activist for the rights of Native American people
  • Natrone Jermaine Means (b. 1972), former professional American Football running back
  • James "Jimmy" Means (b. 1950), American former Winston Cup/Nextel Cup owner/driver
  • Gardiner C. Means (1896-1988), American economist
  • George E. Means, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Minnesota, 1908 [6]
  • Cotesworth Pinckney Means, American Democratic Party politician, Member of South Carolina State Senate from Charleston County, 1935-42; Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from South Carolina, 1940 [6]
  • Charles T. Means, American Republican politician, Member of New Hampshire State Senate 18th District, 1889-90; Delegate to Republican National Convention from New Hampshire, 1896 [6]
  • Bertha Means, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Texas, 2008 [6]
  • ... (Another 23 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

USS Arizona
  • Mr. Louis Means, American Mess Attendant First Class from Texas, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [7]

Suggested Readings for the name Means +

  • The Means Family of America by Elizabeth Cissel Foglesong.

  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
  3. ^
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2013, May 9) Lewis Means. Retrieved from
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 4) . Retrieved from
  7. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from on Facebook