O'shields History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

This name was anglicized from Ó 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.

Early Origins of the O'shields family

The surname O'shields was 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.

Early History of the O'shields family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'shields research. Another 99 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1548, 1545, 1677, 1745, 1693, 1698, 1800, 1879, 1886 and 1949 are included under the topic Early O'shields History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

O'shields Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the O'shields family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family name at this time was Luke O'Shiell (1677-1745), Irish Jacobite, born in Dublin who emigrated to Nantes, France after the Irish defeat, father of Mary O'Shiell, a French-Irish businessperson in Nantes and her sisters Agnés O'Shiell and Anne O'Shiell, founder of the family manor of the O'Shiell, Manoir de la Placelière, which became the gathering place of the large Irish colony in Nantes; Michael...
Another 68 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O'shields Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

O'shields Ranking

In the United States, the name O'shields is the 14,519th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [1]

Migration of the O'shields family

Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: Reverend Archibald Shields, who led the first Virginian settlement and also held estates in Jamaica; Thomas Shield, who settled in Virginia in 1638; Walter Shield, who settled there in 1650.


Contemporary Notables of the name O'shields (post 1700) +

  • Charlie O'Shields, American producer, known for Northpole (2014)
  • Richard O'Shields, American producer, known for Beyond Strength (2015)
  • David O'Shields (b. 1960), American award winning director and writer, founder of New Light Media in 1995, known for America's Lost Landscape: The Tallgrass Prairie (2005)
  • Garland Lee O'Shields (1921-2001), American All-American college basketball player at Tennessee, who played briefly in the National Basketball League


The O'shields 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: Omne solum forti patria
Motto Translation: Every land is a native country to a brave man


  1. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm


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