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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

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."

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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.


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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.

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

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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 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


Sheehan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Tim Sheehan, who landed in Canada in 1823
  • Anne Sheehan, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1823
  • Cornelius Sheehan, who arrived in Canada in 1823
  • Honors Sheehan, who arrived in Canada in 1823
  • Joanna Sheehan, who arrived in Canada in 1823


Sheehan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Ann Sheehan, aged 17, arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Elgin"
  • Ann Sheehan, aged 17, arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Elgin" in 1849
  • John Sheehan, aged 38, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Charlotte Jane"
  • Catherine Sheehan, aged 20, a housemaid, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "William Hammond"
  • Mary Sheehan, aged 18, a housemaid, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "William Hammond"


Sheehan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • David Sheehan landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1842 aboard the ship Bolivia
  • Daniel Sheehan arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Gipsy" in 1854
  • Edward Sheehan, aged 27, a labourer, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Reiherstieg" in 1864
  • Honora Sheehan, aged 26, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Reiherstieg" in 1864
  • Mary Sheehan, aged 14, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Reiherstieg" in 1864


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  • Cornelius Mahoney "Neil" Sheehan (b. 1936), American journalist awarded the 1989 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction
  • William F "Blue Eyed Billy" Sheehan (1859-1917), American politician, Lieutenant Governor of New York, 1892-1894
  • Susan Sheehan (b. 1937), American journalist, she won the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 1983
  • Patty Sheehan (b. 1956), American professional LPGA golfer with 35 LPGA wins, inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame
  • Tyler Allen Sheehan (b. 1987), American football quarterback
  • Michael Jarboe Sheehan (b. 1939), American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church, 11th Archbishop of Santa Fe (1993-)
  • Thomas Clancy "Tom" Sheehan (1894-1982), American Major League Baseball pitcher, scout and manager
  • Daniel Desmond "D.D." Sheehan (1873-1948), Irish nationalist, politician, labour leader, journalist, barrister and author
  • Alan Michael Anthony Sheehan (b. 1986), Irish footballer
  • Robert Michael Sheehan (b. 1988), Irish three-time IFTA nominated and BAFTA award nominated actor

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  1. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  2. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  3. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  4. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  5. McDonnell, Frances. Emigrants from Ireland to America 1735-1743 A Transcription of the report of the Irish House of Commons into Enforced emigration to America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1331-5).
  6. 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).
  7. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  8. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  9. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
  10. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. 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 11 December 2014 at 14:54.

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