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Bean Genealogy and Bean Family History Information

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  • Abigail Sanborne Bean (1713 - 1781)
    GEDCOM Source ===@R-1557177302@ Ancestry Family Trees Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Original data: Family Tree files submitted by Ancestry members. This information comes from 1 or...
  • Abigail York (1750 - 1827)
    GEDCOM Note ===Abigail Bean York Find A Grave Index Name Abigail Bean York Maiden Name Bean Event Type Burial Event Date 1827 Event Place North Bethel, Oxford, Maine, United States of America Photograp...
  • Abigail Bean (1725 - 1821)
    Abigail (Gordon) Bean is a member of Clan Gordon. ( Last modified 29 Dec 2016)Abigail Bean formerly Gordon was born 1725 in Kingston, Rockingham, New Hampshire to Alexander Gordon and Sarah Sewall She ...
  • Alan Bean (1932 - 2018)
    Born in Wheeler, Texas, on March 15, 1932. Married. Two grown children, a son and a daughter. EDUCATION: Graduated from Paschal High School in Fort Worth, Texas; received a bachelor of science degree ...
  • Almira Bean (deceased)

About the Bean surname


~• copied from typewritten doc of mid 20th century by MMvB vol curator, of the Pennsylvania line of Beans. note: much of this is dated information and may be inaccurate

The Name Bean is derived from the Scotch word beane, meaning "fair". According to one authority it was used by the Highlanders to distinguish a particular man of fair complexion. Another etymologist claims that Bean is a nickname for Bennett. At any rate, the name is of Scotch origin, and several of its variant forms are Bene, Been, and Bane.
The most remote ancestor of the Bean family is said to have been one Maurice Bene. He lived in Salop County during the time of the Saxon King, Edward the Confessor. Little else is known of him and the next mentioned of the name is in the Domesday Book. In this book, which contains the first great English census, is recorded the name of Ediva Bene, who lived in the county of Kent in 1273. At that time he was a great landowner.
Others of the name mentioned in early documents were Johannes Benne, 1379; Willemus Bene, 1380; Thomas Been, 1380; and Isaac Beanne, 1556. Although these mentioned, and others, were plainly bearers of the name of Bean, their genealogical connection the the present-day Beans cannot be traced clearly. The Beans in America are believed to have been descended from a common ancestor of a remote period {note: this is probably incorrect. For one, there is a Bean/Biehn family of early PA that is of German origin.}
Three distinct branches of the Bean family are known to have come to America between 1660 and 1700. One family settled in Virginia, one in Maine, and one in New Hampshire.
Probably the first of the name in America was John Bean, I, who settled in Exeter, N.H. He was born in Scotland and emigrated to this country about 1660. Little is known of him except that he married and had issue through his wife of a son, John.
John, Jr., remained in Exeter where he married. He became the father of Joshua Bean. Joshua married Lydia Brown and moved to Gilmanton, but the names of his children have not been recorded.
The next of the name to come to the country was Lewis Bean of the Isle of Jersey in the English Channel. He settled at York, Maine, in the year 1670, Lewis died comparatively early, leaving his widow and three sons, namely, Lewis, Ebenezer, and Joseph.
Lewis, Jr., remained in York, where he married and had issue through his wife of a son, Jonathan who married Sarah Novell and moved to Scarboro, Maine.
A third branch of the family settled in Virginia and was represented by James Bean, who came over from Wales about 1700. He brought his wife, Mary, with him and also a son John. {note: MMvB 2021: This third branch seems, oddly, to reflect the pedigree found in the Bean line in Pennsylvania, not Virginia. Theodore Lane Bean knew otherwise.. These are his line from PA, not VA
John, the son, married and had issue through his wife of a boy Jesse.
Alexander and Jane Moore Bane - - believed to be of the same stock as those who spelled the name "Bean" came to America in 1711. They settled in Goshen Township, Connecticut. The children of this union were Jane, Mary, William, Catherine, Alexander, and Daniel.
Mordecai and Naomi Medley Bane came to this country in 1716 and settled in Goshen Township also. Their children were Nathan, Joseph, Mordecai, Samuel, James, Isaac, Sarah, and Mary.
Others of the name who emigrated to America at an early date were Michael Bean of Kittery, Maine, 1653; Philip Bean of Salem, Mass., 1637; and William Bean of Salem, Mass., 1668.
The descendants of the Bean family were among the staunchest patriots and most distinguished soldiers of the American Revolution. Among those who fought as officers were:

  • Thomas Bean', of Virginia, 1st Lt., 1776
  • Richard Bean, of Virginia, 2nd Lt., 1775
  • John Bean, of Connecticut, 1st Lt., 1775
  • Benjamin Bean, of Virginia, Captain, 1775
  • Eli B. Nean, of maine, 1st Lt., 1775


The foregoing data have been compiled chiefly from the following sources:

  • Savage: Genelogical Dictionary of First Settlers in New England, 1860
  • Bean: A History of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, 1884
    • editor's note: This entire document, "The Bean Family and Its Name" was among the papers of Bean's son Theodore Lane Bean
  • American Ancestry, 1889, Vol.4
  • American Ancestry, 1891, Vol.4
  • Baker: Baker Genealogy, 1867
  • Cassell: "Cassell Family", 1896, Vol. I.
  • Potts: "Our Family Ancestors", 1895
  • Munsell: "Genealogical Index", 1900
  • Dummond: "Joshua Bean and Descendants", 1903
  • Bates: "Connecticut Men in the Revolution", 1901
  • Wilson: "The Bean Family": 1907.
  • Hammond: "New Hampshire State Papers", 1889
  • "Proceedings of the John Bean Association at its Annual Reunion", 1898
  • Bardsley: "Dictionary of Family Names", 1901.
  • Lower: "Dictionary of Family Names", 1860.
  • "The Americana", 1932
  • Heitman: "Officers of the Continental Army", 1914.


  1. Another early branch not included in the above is that of James Bean of Providence Township who came to Pennsylvania from Wales c. 1717
  2. annotations and hyperlinks provided by Private User volunteer curator
  3. and another Bean line has since been detailed: see: William Matthew Bean

Contemporary online account of 2018

Descriptive Writing introductory reference
Gaelic Beathan, a diminutive of betha or beatha 'life.' See Macbean. Bean or Beyn, the name of a saint in the Breviary of Aberdeen (the legendary bishop of Mortlach) is a Scottish form of Beoan, a saint of British origin. In the Life of S. Cadroe his name is written alternately Beoanus (Watson I, p. 311). There was another Bean (Latinized Beanus), 'magister de Dunblane,' c. 1210 (Cambus., 122), and another Beanus was rector of the church of S. Marie of Arnane (Arran), 1357 (RMS., I, 182). A remission was granted to Ferchard Bean in 1428 (Rose, p. 126). Adam Bene was witness in Dumfries in 1450 (Laing, 129), John Beane is in Minnythill, parish of Dennie, 1675 (Stirling), Thomas Been at Miln of Bombie, 1722 (Kirkcudbright), and Robert Bean appears in Grayfaulds of Kirkbuddo, 1779 (Brechin). The name is found in Edinburgh in seventeenth century as Bean, Beane, and Beaine (Edinb. Marr.). (2) The name of Bean, dean of Lismore, afterwards bishop of Arngyll or Lismore (1397—1411) is probably to be identified with Benedictus Johannis of the diocese of Arngyll, the name a misunderstanding of Bene dictus Johannis = Bene called Mac Ian (Dowden, p. 384).

  • The Surnames of Scotland (1946) by George Fraser Black (1866-1948) This surname is derived from a geographical locality. (a) Bapt. 'the son of Benedict,' from the nick. Ben, diminutive Bennett.
  • Maurice de la Bene, Salop, 20 Edward I: Placita de Quo Warranto, temp. Edward I-III.
  • Ediva Bene, Kent, 1273. Hundred Rolls.
  • Johannes Bene, 1379: Poll Tax of Yorkshire.
  • Willelmus Bene, 1379: ibid.
  • On the same page as the preceding, in the same village, occurs Willelmus Benne. If the same, the origin is simple.
  • Willelmus Bene, 1379: Poll Tax of Yorkshire.
  • Thomas Been, 1379: ibid.
  • 1656. Married — Isack Beanne and Rebecke Jenner: St. Mary Aldermary.
  • A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames, written: 1872-1896 by Charles Wareing Endell Bardsley Lower says Bean, Beane are Scotch abbreviations of Benjamin. I(t) should have otherwise derived it from Gael, beag, little, young; W. bechan; Corn, bighan, wigan.
  • Ludus Patronymicus (1868) by Richard Stephen Charnock
    • (English, Scottish) Descendant of Ben, a pet form of Benjamin (son of my right hand), or of Benedict (blessed); the light-complexioned man.
  • Dictionary of American Family Names (1956) by Elsdon Coles Smith
    • A Scotch abbreviation of Benjamin.
  • Patronymica Britannica, written: 1838-1860 by Mark Antony Lower
    • Variant of Ben, q.v.
  • Surnames of the United Kingdom (1912) by Henry Harrison