NameJohn? Given , 5G Grandfather, M
Birthca 1745, Ireland
1Eliza? Unknown , 5G Grandmother, F
ChildrenMargaret (Parentage Unverified), F (1767-1845)
 William (Parentage Unverified), M (ca1769-1828)
 James (Parentage Unverified), M (ca1769-)
Notes for John? Given
This ancestor is from northern Ireland; possibly County Antrim? The vast majority of Givan/Given/Givens in Ireland were from County Antrim and only later seem to have cropped up in County Tyrone. Also, the linen industry was very important in County Antrim and we know William’s son-in-law Oliver Crawford was a weaver.
Assuming an age of about 24 when son William was born, one would estimate a birth year of 1745.

He is possibly the recipient of the Coat of Arms since Nina Givan’s recollections as recorded by her daughter Catherine Purton state: “The coat of arms is supposed to have been given to our great-great-great-grandfather Givan when knighted for winning some battle.” This individual is Catherine Purton’s great great great grandfather.54
J. Hamilton Givan (“Ham”) thinks this ancestor’s name was John since the name “John Given” cuts accross the shield of the Coat of Arms in the original antique small leather-bound painting. However it is equally possible that the coat of arms represented in the painting and the carving in John Givan’s gravestone at Covenanter Cemetery were referring to the younger John Givan and that the early painting pre-dates the spelling change.
An unproven thesis is that the battle in question may have been the Battle of Antrim in 1798. This battle was part of the Ulster uprising which divided the Presbyterian Scottish-Irish into those who supported the monarchy and those who supported the somewhat radicalized “United Irishmen”. (There is an informative website describing this battle at )
In that battle the United Irishmen were defeated by the various Irish militia along with the help of the “Antrim Yeomanry”, a volunteer group of Orangemen. Apparently this battle was somewhat obscured in history by the more glamorously nationalistic Wexford war and later Wolfe Tone’s capture and suicide.
The timing of these events seems very consistent with the origin of our Givens and their Coat of Arms by all accounts. The Givans were likely “Orangemen”. The pennant bearing the St. George cross attests to their loyalty to the monarchy despite England’s historical abuses of the Presbyterians. Their subsequent relocation to County Tyrone makes sense considering the difficulty of living and working in a deeply divided community after the battle.

Ham reported that as a kid he was told the Givens later became disenchanted with the King, and were given land grants in Nova Scotia.12 There is a Land petition by William Gardner and others including a John Given on July 27, 1787 in Queens Co., New Brunswick (which was still part of Nova Scotia in those days). It’s possible that the first wave of Givens came over in this manner while our John Givan’s branch came over later.

One theory of the earlier origins of the Givans was that they derived from French protestants in the 1600’s and and were loyal to Prince William of Orange, moving first to Scotland and later to Ireland. This theory has its origins in an account called “The Givan Family 1634-1920 in France, Scotland, Ireland, England and America” by T.S. Givan printed by the Jobson Printing Company, Louisville, Kentucky in 1920. This account traces the American Givans back to a Reverend Richard Givan born in Dunkirk, France on March 4, 1685. However, this provides no proof whatsoever that the Givan name originated in France. Indeed, Dunkirk was a highly contested port city with a prominant English/Scottish presence until 1662 when Charles II of England sold it to France. Furthermore, there are IGI files in FamilySearch derived from original church records showing Givans born in East Lothian, Scotland in the early 1600’s.95
Thus, at this point in time, the earliest origins of the the Givan name that we know of are in Scotland, not France.
Last Modified 31 Jan 2004Created 14 Nov 2018 using Reunion for Macintosh