Meehan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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

Early Origins of the Meehan family

The surname Meehan 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 Meehan family

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

Meehan Spelling Variations

A name was often recorded during the Middle Ages under several different spelling variations during the life of its bearer because literacy was rare there was no real push to clearly define any of the languages found in the British Isles at that time. Variations found of the name Meehan include Meighan, Meehan, Meegin, Meeghen, Meegan, Meakin, Meakins, Mekins, Mehan, Mehen, Mehigan, Mehegan, O'Meighan, O'Meehan and many more.

Early Notables of the Meehan family (pre 1700)

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


United States Meehan migration to the United States +

Death and immigration greatly reduced Ireland's population in the 19th century. For the native Irish people poverty, hunger, and racial prejudice was common. Therefore, thousands left their homeland to seek opportunity in North America. Those who survived the journey and the quarantine camps to which they arrived, were instrumental towards building the strong developing nations of the United States and the future Canada. By far, the largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. These were employed as construction or factory workers. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has shown early immigrants bearing the name Meehan:

Meehan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Owen Meehan, who landed in New York, NY in 1811 [3]
  • David Meehan, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811 [3]
  • John Henry Meehan, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1835 [3]
  • Peter Meehan, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1850 [3]
  • Mary Meehan, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1851 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Meehan migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Meehan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Anne Meehan, aged 25, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Edward Reid" in 1833
  • Mrs. Ann Meehan, aged 25 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Larch" departing from the port of Sligo, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle in August 1847 [4]
  • Miss. Catherine Meehan, aged 11 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Naomi" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle in August 1847 [4]
  • Miss. Ellen Meehan who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec but died on Grosse Isle in 1847 [4]
  • Mrs. Ellen Meehan, aged 50 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Numa" departing from the port of Sligo, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle in August 1847 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Meehan migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Meehan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mary Meehan, aged 28, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Marshall Bennett" [5]
  • Thomas Meehan, aged 28, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Sultana" [6]
  • Thomas Meehan, aged 25, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Sir Thomas Gresham" [7]
  • Bridget Meehan, aged 20, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Grand Trianon"
  • Thomas Meehan, aged 24, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Nimroud"
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Meehan 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:

Meehan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Peter J. Meehan, aged 23, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Earl Granville" in 1880
  • Joseph Meehan, aged 22, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Earl Granville" in 1880
  • Margaret Meehan, aged 20, a dairymaid, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Earl Granville" in 1880
  • Elizabeth J. Meehan, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Triumph" in 1883

Contemporary Notables of the name Meehan (post 1700) +

  • Thomas Edward Meehan (1934-2017), American three-time Tony Award winning writer, best known for Annie, The Producers, and Hairspray
  • Lew Meehan (1890-1951), also known as Bill Guinn, an American film actor who appeared in 207 films between 1921 and 1947
  • John Francis "Chick" Meehan (1893-1972), American football player and coach
  • Lew Meehan (1890-1951), American film actor who appeared in 207 films between 1921 and 1947
  • Martin Thomas "Marty" Meehan (b. 1956), American attorney and politician, current Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • John Silva Meehan (1790-1863), American printer and publisher, the fourth Librarian of the United States Congress (1829 to 1861)
  • John Meehan (1902-1963), American three-time Oscar winning art director and production designer
  • Charles V. Meehan, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Connecticut State House of Representatives from Ansonia, 1920, 1922 [8]
  • Charles J. Meehan, American Republican politician, Presidential Elector for New York, 1956 [8]
  • Austin Meehan (d. 1961), American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1932, 1952, 1960 [8]
  • ... (Another 29 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Halifax Explosion
  • Master John R.  Meehan (1915-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [9]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. John Meehan (d. 1912), aged 22, Irish Third Class passenger from Currowhunane, Sligo who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [10]


  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. ^ 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)
  4. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 46)
  5. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 3 February 1852. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) MARSHALL BENNETT 1852. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/marshallbennett1852.shtml
  6. ^ South Australian Register Saturday 4th February 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Sultana 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/sultana1854.shtml.
  7. ^ South Australian Register Monday 20th March 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Sir Thomas Gresham 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/sirthomasgresham1854.shtml.
  8. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 4) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  9. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  10. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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