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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the Irish Sheehan family come from? What is the Irish Sheehan family crest and coat of arms? When did the Sheehan family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Sheehan family history?

The spelling and overall form of Irish names tend to vary widely. The original Gaelic form of the name Sheehan is O Siodhachain, which may be derived from "siodhach," which means "peaceful."


Irish names were rarely spelled with much consistency during the Middle Ages. As the many spelling variations of the name Sheehan dating from that time attests: Sheehan, Sheeham, Sheahan, O'Sheehan, Sheagan and many more.

First found in County Limerick (Irish: Luimneach) located in Southwestern Ireland, in the province of Munster, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sheehan research. Another 382 words(27 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sheehan History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Sheehan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


The 19th century brought a massive reduction in Ireland's population. It seemed that during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s the Irish people had two options: starve or immigrate. Those that chose the later frequently headed for the United States, hopeful for land, work, and equality. Those determined for free land joined the migration west; while others stayed behind to live in urban centers and often work in factories. Still others began a transitory life in work camps, building the bridges, canals, railways, and highways so critical to the rapidly development of the growing industrial nation. Early passenger and immigration lists have shown many early immigrants bearing the name Sheehan:

Sheehan Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • John Sheehan, his wife Bridget, and six children arrived in Prescott in 1825
  • Godfrey Sheehan, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1827
  • Jeremiah Sheehan, who landed in Mississippi in 1840
  • Daniel, Denis, James, Michael, Patrick, Thomas, and William Sheehan all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1870
  • Cornelious Sheehan, who landed in Tippecanoe County, Ind in 1842


  • Cornelius Mahoney "Neil" Sheehan (b. 1936), American journalist awarded the 1989 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction
  • William F "Blue Eyed Billy" Sheehan (1859-1917), Lieutenant Governor of New York, 1892-1894
  • Patty Sheehan (b. 1956), American professional golfer
  • Susan Sheehan (b. 1937), American journalist, she won the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 1983
  • Paul Sheehan (b. 1977), Australian test cricketer
  • Paul Sheehan (b. 1963), Canadian journalist
  • Major-General Edward Lonergan Sheehan (1898-1969), Australian Director of Staff Duties, Army Headquarters from 1950 to 1955


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  1. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  2. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  3. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
  4. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
  5. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  6. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  7. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
  8. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  9. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  10. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  11. ...

The Sheehan Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Sheehan Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 23 January 2014 at 10:00.

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