Shea Family History
The ancient origin of the name Shea
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 Shea
include O'Se, Shee and Shay. These names are derived form the Gaelic O'Seaghdha sept name which translates as 'hawk-like'. The O'Sheas were a Kerry sept and were Lords of Inveragh. Their power declined after the twelfth century. Some of the sept migrated to County Tipperary and later to the adjoining County of Kilkenny. A renowned bearer of the name was Robert Shee who was sovereign of the city of Kilkenny in 1499. The well known family, now represented by the Poer O'Shees of Gardenmorris and Sheestown, County Kilkenny, came into prominence there about that time. It is in County Kerry that the great majority of O'Sheas are to be found in modern times. Sir William Shee, 1804-1868, was M.P. for Kilkenny and was also the first Catholic Judge in Ireland since the revolution of 1690.The Shea
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 Shea