Shanahan Family History
The family history of the ancient name Shanahan
was found in the irishsurnames.com archives.
Surnames developed a wide number of variants over the centuries. Many different spelling variations of the same name can be traced back to a single original root. Also, when a bearer of a name emigrated from Ireland it was not uncommon that their original name would be incorrectly transcribed in the record books upon arrival at their new location. Some names have dozens of spelling variations. Some Surnames were also altered over the years based on how they sounded phonetically, by their sound, and depending on the prevailing political conditions it may have been advantageous to change a name from one language to another. This was especially so in Ireland where most Gaelic names were 'anglicized' at some stage.
Variants of the name Shanahan
include Shannon, Sheenan, Gilshenan and Giltenan. These names are derived from three distinct Gaelic Irish septs. The O'Seanain sept is associated with Counties Carlow and Wexford where the name today is rare. The sept of O'Seahachain also anglicized their name as Shanahan as well as Shannon and are found in County Clare. At the time of the Williamite confiscations Irish names were written down as they sounded phonetically, hence Shanahan was often recorded as Shannon. They were a Dalcassian sept of sufficient importance to have a recognized Chief in early times and their territory lay between Bodyke and Feakle in County Clare, where these names still survive in some numbers to this very day.The Shanahan
family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Shanahan