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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, Irish

Where did the Irish Shields family come from? What is the Irish 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?

This name was anglicized from ” Siadhail in Gaelic, meaning an 'ancestor of Siadhail' (the prefix O denotes 'grandfather of'). Siadhail has been translated to mean 'sloth' or 'sluggishness'. As this name is descriptive of its original bearer, it is considered to be a nickname. However, many Irish of this name originally came from England or Scotland where the name Shields is derived from an Old English word meaning 'shed' or 'hut' - a somewhat more flattering meaning.

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Spelling variations of this family name include: Shiel, Sheilles, Sheild, Sheill, Sheels, Sheils, Sheil, Shield, Shields, Shieles, Shiels, Shiells, Shielles, Shiell, Sheills, Sheilds and many more.

First found in the Ulster region counties of Donegal, Derry, Antrim and Down. This family are reputed to be descendents of the great King Niall of the Nine Hostages.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Shields research. Another 197 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1548, 1545, 1677, 1745, 1693, 1698, 1800, 1879, 1886 and 1949 are included under the topic Early Shields History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 255 words (18 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Shields Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Shields Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Eliz Shields, who landed in Carolina in 1724

Shields Settlers in 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


Shields Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Patrick Shields, aged 20, arrived in Saint John aboard the ship "Nancy" in 1834
  • William Shields who migrated from Edinburgh was keeper of Cape Spear Lighthouse, Newfoundland and died in 1836

Shields Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • John Shields, a carpenter, arrived in Van Diemenís Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • John Shields arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Louisa Baillie" in 1849
  • Archibald Shields, aged 22, arrived in South Australia in 1850 aboard the ship "Agincourt"
  • Catherine Shields, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Anna Maria" on October 4, 1851, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • Rosanna Shields, aged 22, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Agincourt"


Shields Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Thomas Shields arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Agra" in 1852
  • William Shields arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cairngorm" in 1863
  • Euphemia Shields arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cairngorm" in 1863
  • Patrick Shields arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Triumph" in 1883
  • Catherine Shields arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Triumph" in 1883

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  • Mrs. Retta Shields (d. 1915), American 1st Class Passenger from Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking
  • Mr. Victor E. Shields (d. 1915), American 1st Class Passenger from Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking and was recovered
  • Brooke Christa Shields (b. 1965), American actress, author and model
  • B. F. Shields, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Kentucky, 1920, 1924, 1940
  • Ann Marie Shields, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Massachusetts, 1980
  • A. S. L. Shields, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1900, 1904
  • B. F. Shields, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Kentucky, 1956, 1960
  • Benjamin Glover Shields (b. 1808), American politician, Member of Alabama State House of Representatives, 1834; U.S. Representative from Alabama at-large, 1841-43; U.S. Charge d'Affaires to Venezuela, 1845
  • Bernice Shields, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Michigan, 1984
  • Brad Shields, American Republican politician, Candidate in primary for Texas State Board of Education 10th District, 2000

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  • Brooke's Book: Ancestry of Brooke Shields by Daniel MacGregor.
  • Shields Family.
  • Irish Origins of the Shields Family by John Edgar Shields.
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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: Omne solum forti patria
Motto Translation: Every land is a native country to a brave man

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  1. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  2. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  3. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  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. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992. Print.
  8. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  9. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  10. 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).
  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 24 January 2016 at 16:27.

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