The Schoonjans and Schoonejans (plus other variants) surnames
The first records of the Scoenjans (or Scoonjans) surname date from the fourteenth century in Mechelen (Belgium). This surname is composed of two parts, the first part refers to the medieval Flemish word “Scone”, which means admirable or noble; the second part is the father’s first name, “Jans” means son of Jan (John). In Brabant, (Belgium), the first name of Johannes (John) was very common and refers to John the Baptist.
The known surnames of Schoonjans and Schoonejans, as written, are also found in England, the United States of America and Canada. These surnames come from migrants in these countries, mostly from Belgium, and their descendants.
The surnames Schönejan(s), Schöneian and Schönian, also found in the United States, come from German migrants, mostly from Prussia.
Some variants such as Schonians, Schoenian, Schoenjahn and Schoenjohn find their origin in the United States themselves and are derived though local adaptation, from the surnames of the original migrants.
In Belgium, the surname Schoon is also frequently found, but no relationship with the Schoonjans surname could yet be established.
Some US genealogies are indicating that the Schaun, Shoun, Shown and Shawan families descend from John Schaun, born in Duchrodt, Germany, around 1703 as son of Egidius Schoonjans en Elisabeth Geeroms. This is most unlikely to be correct, considering that this couple only married in Belgium in 1708, that they had all their 12 children, in Belgium (between 1708 and 1726) and finally, that a Shaun family already existed in Duchrodt, Germany, at least since 1625. Therefore, unless other evidence is found, the Schaun, Shoun, Shown and Shawan families are not considered to be related to the Schoonjans families.