Behan / Family History
The family history of the ancient name Behan
was found in the irishsurnames.com archives. The Irish name Behan has a number of variants including Beaghan, Beehan, Beaghen, Bean and Behane. This name is derived from the Gaelic O'Beachain sept that was originally located in Leinster Province but later became more associated with County Kerry. It has been suggested that this sept name O'Beachain is from the Gaelic word 'beach' meaning 'bee'.
A sept or clan is a collective term describing a group of persons whose immediate ancestors bore a common surname and inhabited the same territory. It is also the case that many Irish septs or clans that are related often belong to a larger groups, sometimes called tribes. For example the 'Tribes of Galway' consisted of fourteen distinct families. The 'Tribes of Kilkenny' were ten families, etc.
When Gaelic names were anglicized during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries they were often changed to Anglo equivalents that sounded most like their original Gaelic name. A notable bearer of the name was Hugh O'Beaghan who was Bishop of Iniscathy in the year 1188. Donat Beaghan who died in the year 1541 was Bishop of Kildare. The Behan
family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Behan