The surname Gilshenan is originally a name that appeared in Gaelic as O Seanachain, which is derived from the word "sean," meaning "old."
from very ancient times.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gilshenan research.Another 92 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1318, 1802, 1863, and 1877 are included under the topic Early Gilshenan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
The recording of names in Ireland
in the Middle Ages was an inconsistent endeavor at best. The many regional dialects and the predominate illiteracy would have made common surnames appear unrelated to the scribes of the period. Research into the name Gilshenan revealed spelling variations
, including Shanahan, O'Shanahan, Shahan, Shannon, Gilshenan and many more.
began to immigrate to British North America and the United States in the 18th century, but the greatest influx of Irish immigrants came during the Great Potato Famine
of the late 1840s. The earlier settlers came to North America after a great deal of consideration and by paying relatively high fees for their passage. These settlers were primarily drawn by the promise of land. Those later settlers that came during the 1840's were trying to escape the conditions of poverty, starvation, disease, and death that had stricken Ireland
. Due to the enormity of their numbers and the late date of their arrival, these immigrants primarily became hired laborers instead of homesteading settlers like their predecessors. An exhaustive search of immigration and passenger lists has revealed many Irish immigrants North America bearing the name Gilshenan: Charles Shannon, who arrived in America in 1742; James Shanahan, who was a laborer in St. John's, Newfoundland, in 1779; Bridget Shannon, who was on record in Massachusetts in 1813.