I am Canadian – the Scottish Connection

I think this will be my last post for ancestors on my father’s side. John Bean is my 7th great-grandfather. He was born in Scotland and came to North America probably 1652 after the Battle of Worcester. He landed in Exeter, New Hampshire and is the progenitor of hundreds of thousands of people including Alan Bean who landed on the moon. So to end off this part of the Canadian chapter I will give you a little history on John Bean.


From Wikipedia

John Bean of Exeter, New Hampshire was born John MacBean before 1634, in Strathdearn, Inverness-Shire, Scotland. His father was Donald MacBean and his grandfather was Aaron MacBean – b. 1570 in Inverness-Shire. Strathdearn lies about ten miles south of the village of Inverness. These are pictures of Inverness nearby to Strathdearn.

Inverness on the River Ness
Inverness on the River Ness
Castle Inverness in winter
Castle Inverness in winter

John was one of 272 Scottish Prisoners of War from the Battle of Worcester who arrived in Boston on 2-24-1652 to be sold as indentured workers to pay for the cost of their transportation.

From Wikipedia

The Battle of Worcester took place on 3 September 1651 at Worcester, England, and was the final battle of the English Civil War. Oliver Cromwell and the Parliamentarians defeated the Royalist, predominantly Scottish, forces of King Charles II. The 16,000 Royalist forces were overwhelmed by the 28,000 strong “New Model Army” of Cromwell.

Oliver Cromwell at the battle of Worcester
Oliver Cromwell at the battle of Worcester
Boston was where John was destined after the Battle of Worcester
From Boston John made his way north to Exeter, Rockingham, New Hampshire
From Boston John made his way north to Exeter, Rockingham, New Hampshire

John d. between 1-24-1718 and 2-18-1718 at Exeter, NH. He is buried in the Church yard of the Congregational Church (Old Meeting House) in Exeter, NH.

John Bean's gravestone at the Congregational church in Exeter
John Bean’s gravestone at the Congregational church in Exeter
Water Street, Exeter New Hampshire
Water Street, Exeter New Hampshire


Here’s what is written on astronaut Alan Bean’s (my 7th cousin once removed) website:

The official records show that when Apollo 12 flew to the Moon, the crew was Pete Conrad, Dick Gordon, and Alan Bean. That’s true…as far as it goes.

We also represented the hopes and dreams of the scientists and engineers who designed the rockets, spacecraft, and experiments. Our skilled instructors and flight controllers were there, too, as were our families and friends and all the American taxpayers who paid the bill. I found out later that as I stepped on the Moon on the morning of November 19, 1969, I represented my forefathers of the Clan MacBean.

The first mention of the Clan MacBean in Scottish history occurred about A.D. 1300. The word “Bean”, at that time, meant “the lively one”, and the “Mac” signified “the son of Bean”. I think my mother would have agreed, when I was in my twos and threes, that she had a lively one.

The clan flourished in the Scottish highlands. John MacBean brought the clan to the new world, but not by choice. He was in the ranks, fighting for the Scottish King Charles II against Cromwell, the British dictator, at the Battle of Worcester. The Scots lost the battle and John MacBean was deported to Boston as a prisoner, arriving there on February 24, 1652.

John Bean (the ship’s clerk had anglicized his name) was sold as an indentured servant to a sawmill operator in Exeter, New Hampshire. The boss’s daughter quickly fell in love with him and, a short while later, they were married. Pete and Dick have laughed at this story and said, “The gift of great good luck was in the Bean genes even way back then.”

Editor’s note: A widely circulated story claims that Alan placed a piece of MacBean tartan on the Moon. We have the following from Alan, written on 30 April 2005: “As I remember it, I took Clan McBean Tartan to the moon and returned it to Earth. I did not leave any Clan McBean Tartan on the surface. I did, in fact, give a piece of the Tartan to the Clan McBean and also to the St. Bean Chapel in Scotland. And I’ve still got some of it in my possession. I did not, however leave any of it on the moon.”

Allan Bean
Alan Bean

Here’s how the line goes from me to John Bean of Exeter, New Hampshire:

me- my father – my grandmother, Rose Morrill – my great-grandfather, William Charles Morel – my 2nd great grandmother, Lucy Bean – 3rd great-grandfather, Joseph Bean – 4th great-grandfather, Samuel Bean – 5th great-grandfather, Samuel Bean – 6th great-grandfather, James Bean – 7th great-grandfather, JOHN BEAN of Scotland and Exeter, NH






The Founding of Boston


6 thoughts on “I am Canadian – the Scottish Connection

    1. Hahaha……..there are so many Beans from one man. If he could see his tribe now wouldn’t he be surprised? There’s a book written by Bernie Bean of all the descendants from John Bean of Exeter. It’s the thickest book I’ve ever seen. Somehow he was able to track down as many people as he could find.
      Thanks for your encouragement Sue. It means a lot:-)

  1. Deirdre Milliner

    I have traced John Bean to be my 8th Great grandfather. Thank you for the thorough research as it is always exciting to learn where we come from!

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