MacShea History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

Irish names tend to vary widely in their spelling and overall form. The original Gaelic form of the name MacShea is O Seaghdha, which is modified to O Se. The surname is derived from the word seaghdha which means hawk like but has a secondary meaning of stately.

Early Origins of the MacShea family

The surname MacShea was first found in County Kerry (Irish:Ciarraí) part of the former County Desmond (14th-17th centuries), located in Southwestern Ireland, in Munster province, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

The O'Shee variant claims Kilkenny as their ancestral home. At one time they were one of the most important of the ruling families of Kilkenny. Robert O'Shee was sovereign of the area in 1493. This family alternated using the "O'" prefix as not, as later his son Richard Shee, the Sovereign of Kilkenny (1545-1546) and (1553-1554) was Member of Parliament for Kilkenny in 1559.

Important Dates for the MacShea family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacShea research. Another 98 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1172 and 1500 are included under the topic Early MacShea History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

MacShea Spelling Variations

Those scribes in Ireland during the Middle Ages recorded names as they sounded. Consequently, in this era many people were recorded under different spellings each time their name was written down. Research on the MacShea family name revealed numerous spelling variations, including O'Shea, O'Shee, McShea, McShee and others.

Early Notables of the MacShea family (pre 1700)

Another 30 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early MacShea Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the MacShea family

Thousands of Irish families left for North American shores in the 19th century. These people were searching for a life unencumbered with poverty, hunger, and racial discrimination. Many arrived to eventually find such conditions, but many others simply did not arrive: victims of the diseased, overcrowded ships in which they traveled to the New World. Those who lived to see North American shores were instrumental in the development of the growing nations of Canada and the United States. A thorough examination of passenger and immigration lists has disclosed evidence of many early immigrants of the name MacShea: Daniel, James, John, Patrick, Thomas McShea all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860; Bartholomew, David, Edward, Lawrence, James, John, Michael, Timothy O'Shea all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860..

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