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

Origins Available: English, Irish

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


Spelling variations of this family name include: Shiel, Shiell, Shiels, Shiells, Sheil, Sheill, Sheils, Sheills, Shield, Shields, O'Shiel, O'Shields and many more.

First found in Berwickshire where the name was local in origin. The Middle English version of the name was "schele" or "skali" which was "used first of a shepherd's summer-hut or small house." This distinguished Clan took their name from the reivers small houses or huts which abounded on the eastern English/Scottish border. Robbie Burns included the line "the swallow jinkin around my shiel." North Shields and South Shields located on the north bank of the River Tyne and the mouth of the same river date back to 1225-1245, but there is no record of any relationship to the surname.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Shields research. Another 285 words(20 lines of text) covering the years 1274, 1296, 1403, 1515, 1702, 1707, 1783, 1660, 1700 and are included under the topic Early Shields History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 39 words(3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Shields Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Shields family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 223 words(16 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

  • Reverend Archibald Shields who led the first Virginian settlement also held estates in Jamaica

Shields Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Eliz Shields, who landed in Carolina in 1724

Shields Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Charles Shields, who landed in America in 1807
  • Alexander Shields, who arrived in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1808
  • Peter Shields, who arrived in America in 1808
  • George Shields, who arrived in America in 1811
  • Frindley Shields, who landed in New York, NY in 1815


  • Francis Alexander Shields (1941-2003), American Republican, executive at Revlon, best known as the father of the actress Brooke Shields
  • Christa Brooke Camille Shields (b. 1965), American actress and former fashion model better known as Brooke Shields
  • James Shields (1810-1879), American politician and U.S. Army officer
  • Francis Xavier "Frank" Shields (1909-1975), famous amateur American tennis player
  • Teri Shields (b. 1933), American actress, film producer, socialite and mother of actress Brooke Shields
  • Brooke Christa Shields (b. 1965), American actress, author and model
  • Carol Ann Shields CC, OM, FRSC (1935-2003), Canadian author and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction as well as the Governor General's Award in Canada for her 1993 novel The Stone Diaries
  • William Joseph Shields (1888-1961), birth name of Barry Fitzgerald, the Irish stage, film and television actor
  • Brigadier Peter Ross Shields, Canadian Commanding Officer Increment Headquarters I Canadian Corps, England
  • Dame Margaret Kerslake Shields DNZM, QSO, JP (1941-2013), New Zealand politician of the Labour Party


  • Brooke's Book: Ancestry of Brooke Shields by Daniel MacGregor.
  • Shields Family.
  • Irish Origins of the Shields Family by John Edgar Shields.

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Vincit qui patitur
Motto Translation: He conquers who endures.


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  1. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  2. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  4. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  5. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  6. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  7. 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).
  8. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  9. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  11. ...

The Shields Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Shields 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 31 July 2014 at 16:20.

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