Irish names tend to vary widely in their spelling and overall form. The original Gaelic form of the name O'Shay 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.
from ancient times.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Shay research.Another 98 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1172 and 1500 are included under the topic Early O'Shay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Many spelling variations
of the surname O'Shay can be found in the archives. One reason for these variations is that ancient scribes and church officials recorded names as they were pronounced, often resulting in a single person being recorded under several different spellings. The different spellings that were found include O'Shea, O'Shee, McShea, McShee and others.
left their homeland in astonishing numbers during the 19th century in search of a better life. Although individual reasons vary, most of these Irish families
suffered from extreme poverty, lack of work opportunities, and exorbitant rents in their homeland. Many decided to travel to Australia
or North America in the hopes of finding greater opportunities and land. The Irish immigrants that came to North America initially settled on the East Coast, often in major centers such as Boston or New York. But like the many other cultures to settle in North America, the Irish traveled to almost any region they felt held greater promise; as a result, many Irish with gold fever moved all the way out to the Pacific coast. Others before that time left for land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula, or the Maritimes as United Empire Loyalists, for many Irish did choose to side with the English during the American War of Independence
. The earliest wave of Irish migration, however, occurred during the Great Potato Famine
of the 1840s. An examination of early immigration and passenger lists has revealed many people bearing the O'Shay name: 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..