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Shennan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms



The ancient Dalriadan kingdom consisted of the Hebrides islands, and the rugged mountains of Scotland west coast. The name Shennan began in this region; it was a nickname for a person noted as possessing great wisdom, or an elderly person. The surname is derived from the Irish Gaelic name O Seanain, which comes from the word sean, which has the double meaning of old and wise.


Early Origins of the Shennan family


The surname Shennan was first found in Kintyre, where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Scotland to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.

Early History of the Shennan family


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Shennan research.
Another 112 words (8 lines of text) covering the year 1548 is included under the topic Early Shennan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Shennan Spelling Variations


Medieval spelling was at best an intuitive process, and translation between Gaelic and English was no more effective. These factors caused an enormous number of spelling variations in Dalriadan names. In fact, it was not uncommon to see a father and son who spelled their name differently. Over the years, Shennan has been spelled Shannon, Shennan, Shennane and others.

Early Notables of the Shennan family (pre 1700)


More information is included under the topic Early Shennan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Shennan family to Ireland


Some of the Shennan family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Shennan family to the New World and Oceana


These settlers arrived in North America at a time when the east was burgeoning with prosperous colonies and the expanses of the west were just being opened up. The American War of Independence was also imminent. Some Scots stayed to fight for a new country, while others who remained loyal went north as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of them went on to rediscover their heritage in the 20th century through highland games and other patriotic Scottish events. The Shennan were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: James Shannon arrived in Boston in 1764; A. C. D. and M. Shannon arrived in Baltimore in 1820; Anne, Catherine, Honoria, James, Jonathon, Luke, Terry Shannon, all arrived in Boston in 1850..

Contemporary Notables of the name Shennan (post 1700)


  • K.J. Shennan, British assistant diesel mechanic at Mawson Station in 1963, eponym of Mount Shennan, Antarctica
  • Stephen Shennan, English professor of theoretical archaeology, and is director of the Institute of Archaeology
  • Robert Duncan James "Bob" Shennan (b. 1962), British radio executive, Controller of BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 6 Music (2009-)

The Shennan Motto


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: Virtute Duce
Motto Translation: With virtue for guide.


Shennan Family Crest Products



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