Recorded in many spellings including Bean, Been, Beanie, Beany and Beaney, this interesting name has three possible origins. The first is derived from an Anglo-Saxon occupational name for a grower or seller of beans, from the Old English pre 7th Century 'bean'. The second origin is from the Middle English word 'bene', meaning friendly or amiable. In this case it was a nickname either for a pleasant person, or perhaps - the reverse!. The third possible origin is Scottish and is the Anglicized form of the Gaelic personal name 'Beathan', a diminutive of 'be(a)tha', meaning life. The early surname development includes Ricardus filus Bene (1278, Lancashire) and Juliana Bean (1301, Yorkshire). Later examples of the recordings include John Beanies, whose daughter Beatrice was christened at St Botolphs church, Bishopgate, London, on January 4th 1635, Mary Sophie Beaney, who married Thomas Shearer at St Martins in the Field, Westminster on October 11th 1818, and the christening of Thomas, son of Francis and Emma Margaret Bean, on May 10th 1840 at St. Andrew's, Holborn. The first recording in Scotland is that of Ferchard Bean, in Edinburgh, in 1428. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ailwardus Bene, which was dated 1166, The Norfolk County Pipe Rolls, during the reign of King Henry 11, 'The Builder of Churches', 1154-1189.
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