Show ContentsVon History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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

Early Origins of the Von family

The surname Von was 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.)

Saint Bean or Beyn (fl. 1011), was, according to Fordun, appointed first bishop of Murthlach by Malclom II, at the instance of Pope Benedict VIII. A fragment of the charter of Malcolm II (1003-1029?), preserved in the register of the diocese of Aberdeen confirms this claim. [1] However, St. Bean is distinctly referred to as a native of Ireland: 'In Hybernia natalis Beani primi episcopi Aberdonensis et confessoris'. [1]

Early History of the Von family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Von research. Another 139 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1400, 1411, 1550 and 1745 are included under the topic Early Von History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Von Spelling Variations

Prior to the invention of the printing press in the last hundred years, documents were basically unique. Names were written according to sound, and often appeared differently each time they were recorded. Spelling variations of the name Von include Bean, Beane, Beyn, Bayn, Bene, Bane, Baine, Beine, Bayne, Beyne, Been, Beaine, MacBain, MacBean, MacVain, MacBean, MacVan and many more.

Early Notables of the Von family

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

Ireland Migration of the Von family to Ireland

Some of the Von family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Australia Von migration to Australia +

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

Von Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Voss Fr. Aug. von, aged 24, who arrived in South Australia in 1847 aboard the ship "Hermann von Beckerath" [2]
  • Gartner W.G. von, who arrived in South Australia in 1848 aboard the ship "Alfred" [3]
  • Osten L. Von, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Steinwaerder" [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Von (post 1700) +

  • Friedrich von Hayek CH (1899-1992), Austrian-born economist and philosopher, co-recipient of the 1974 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Diane von Fürstenberg (b. 1946), born Diane Simone Michele Halfin, Belgian fashion designer best known for her wrap dress
  • Friedrich von Löffelholz (1955-2017), German cyclist who competed in the team time trial event at the 1976 Summer Olympics
  • Alexander von Bandrowski (1860-1913), Austrian-Polish theater actor, opera singer (tenor) and artistic director
  • Horst von Schroeter (1919-2006), German U-boat commander
  • Nikolaus von Himsel, German physician, founder of the Museum of the History of Riga and Navigation in 1773
  • Leonora von Ottinger, American silent film and stage actress who starred in 16 films
  • Eugen von Boeck (1823-1886), German educator and scientist
  • Charlotte von Kirschbaum (1899-1975), German theologian who assisted Karl Barth in writing the Church Dogmatics.
  • Werner von Boltenstern (1897-1985), German officer, Major General in the Wehrmacht

The Von Motto +

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.

  1. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) HERMANN VON BECKERATH 1847. Retrieved from
  3. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) ALFRED 1848. Retrieved from
  4. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) STEINWARDER 1849 aka STEINWAERDER. Retrieved from on Facebook