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An excerpt from archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

The Skehan surname is thought to be derived from the Aberdeenshire parish of the same name. Legend has it that the first bearer of the name was second son of Struan Robertson, who saved king Malcolm II (circa 1014) by slaying a wolf with his "sgian," or "skene," (Scottish dagger) in Stocket Forest. which meant "a dagger." It is said that he was rewarded with the lands of Skene and henceforth used the name Skene.


The surname Skehan was first found in Aberdeenshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Obar Dheathain), a historic county, and present day Council Area of Aberdeen, located in the Grampian region of northeastern Scotland, where they held a family seat sometime before the year 1250. The family had always maintained the rank of free Barons and held the Castle Skene, and the Earldom of Mar in Aberdeen.

Spelling variations of this family name include: Skene, Skeyne, Skeen, Skeene, Skin and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Skehan research. Another 202 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1317, 1411, 1543, 1597, 1617, 1809, 1825, 1881, and 1892 are included under the topic Early Skehan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Notable amongst the Clan at this time was William Forbes Skene (1809-1892), who was appointed the Royal Historiograapher for Scotland in 1881, and was the author of The Highlanders of Scotland, Celtic Scotland, and other celebrated works; and Sir John Skene (1543-1617), who acquired Curriehill...

Another 44 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Skehan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: John Skene who settled in West New Jersey in 1664; Robert Skene, who was on record in Maryland in 1700; Thomas Skene, who arrived in South Carolina in 1760.


  • Theresa Skehan, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1944
  • Philip "Phil" Skehan (1894-1921), Australian rules footballer
  • Donal Skehan (b. 1986), Irish singer, television personality, food writer and chef
  • John Skehan (1922-1992), Irish broadcaster on RTÉ, radio and television
  • Noel Skehan (b. 1945), Irish retired sportsperson from Bennettsbridge, County Kilkenny

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: Virtutis regia merces
Motto Translation: A palace the reward of bravery.


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    Other References

    1. Moody David. Scottish Family History. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0806312688).
    2. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
    3. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
    4. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
    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. Skene, William Forbes Edition. Chronicles of the Picts, Chronicles of the Scots and Other Early Memorials of Scottish History. Edinburgh: H.M. General Register House, 1867. Print.
    7. 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.
    8. Browne, James. The History of Scotland it's Highlands, Regiments and Clans 8 Volumes. Edinburgh: Francis A Niccolls & Co, 1909. Print.
    9. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Socts Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Modern Application of the Art of Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
    10. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
    11. ...

    The Skehan Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Skehan 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 10 March 2016 at 21:12.

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