Bean Family History
Bean Name Meaning
English: nickname for a pleasant person from Middle English bēne ‘friendly amiable’. English: metonymic occupational name for a grower or seller of beans from Middle English bene ‘bean’ (Old English bēan ‘beans’ a collective singular). The broad bean Vicia faba was a staple food in Europe in the Middle Ages. The green bean Phaseolus vulgaris came from South America and was not introduced to Europe until the late 16th century. The word bene was commonly used to denote something of little worth and occasionally it may have been applied as a nickname for someone considered insignificant. English: possibly a habitational or topographic name. Redmonds Dictionary of Yorkshire Surnames cites Adam del Bene of Harrogate (1351) as evidence to suggest that in the Harrogate area where the Yorkshire name later proliferated it may have been derived from a place where beans grew. English: perhaps a variant of Benn . Compare Benney . Scottish and Irish: shortened Anglicized form of the patronymic Mac B(h)eathain ‘son of Beathán’ from the Gaelic personal name Beathán a diminutive of beatha ‘life’ see McBain . In Ireland Bean is also found also a shortened form of Ó Beachain see Behan . Americanized form (translation into English) of German Bohne or an altered form of Biehn . See also Bihn .7: Americanized form (mistranslation into English) of French Lefebvre . As the vocabulary word fèvre ‘smith’ was replaced by forgeron in modern French the meaning of the old word for a smith became opaque and the surname was reinterpreted as if it were La fève from fève ‘bean’.
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press