Shanahan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Shanahan is originally a name that appeared in Gaelic as O Seanachain, which is derived from the word "sean," meaning "old."

Early Origins of the Shanahan family

The surname Shanahan was first found in County Clare (Irish: An Clár) located on the west coast of Ireland in the province of Munster, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.

Early History of the Shanahan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Shanahan research. Another 92 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1318, 1802, 1863, and 1877 are included under the topic Early Shanahan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Shanahan Spelling Variations

Numerous spelling variations of the surname Shanahan exist. A partial explanation for these variants 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. Different spellings that were found include Shanahan, O'Shanahan, Shahan, Shannon, Gilshenan and many more.

Early Notables of the Shanahan family (pre 1700)

Another 34 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Shanahan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Shanahan migration to the United States +

The 19th century saw a great wave of Irish migrating out of their homeland in a great measure due to the oppressive imperial policies of the English government and landowners. Many of these Irish families sailed to North America aboard overcrowded passenger ships. By far, the largest influx of Irish immigrants to North America occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. These particular immigrants were instrumental in creation of the United States and Canada as major industrial nations because the many essential elements such as the roadways, canals, bridges, and railways required an enormous quantity of cheap labor, which these poor immigrants provided. Later generations of Irish in these countries also went on to make valuable contributions in such fields as the arts, commerce, politics, and education. Extensive research into immigration and passenger lists has revealed many early immigrants bearing the name Shanahan:

Shanahan Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Shanahan, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1765 [1]
Shanahan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Shanahan, aged 26, who landed in Missouri in 1840 [1]
  • Michael Shanahan, who landed in Mississippi in 1846 [1]
  • Jeremiah Shanahan, who landed in New York, NY in 1847 [1]
  • Joseph Shanahan, aged 30, who arrived in Missouri in 1848 [1]
  • Henry, Daniel, John, Martin, Michael, Robert, Patrick, Timothy, and William Shanahan, who all, who arrived in Philadelphia between 1850 and 1870
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Shanahan migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Shanahan Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • James Shanahan, who was a laborer in St. John's, Newfoundland, in 1779 [2]
Shanahan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Denis Shanahan, aged 21, who arrived in Canada in 1823
  • Dennis Shanahan, who settled in Quebec, Canada, in 1825
  • Thomas and Edmund Shanahan, and his sisters Nora and Catherine Shanahan, who all settled in Medonte Township, Ontario, Canada, in 1832
  • John Shanahan, aged 24, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship "Ward" from Limerick, Ireland
  • Denis Shanahan, aged 21, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the barque "Pallas" from Cork, Ireland
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Shanahan migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Shanahan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mary Shanahan, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Henry Porcher" in 1838 [3]
  • Michael Shanahan, aged 36, a farm servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Phoebe Dunbar" [4]
  • Bridget Shanahan, aged 30, a farm servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Hyderabad" [5]
  • Ellen Shanahan, aged 21, a farm servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Hyderabad" [5]
  • William Shanahan, aged 27, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Europa" [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Shanahan migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Shanahan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Mary Shanahan, (b. 1852), aged 14, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "John Temperley" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st June 1866 [7]
  • Mary Shanahan, aged 23, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Jessie Osborne" in 1867
  • John Shanahan, aged 13, a labourer, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Adamant" in 1874
  • Michael Shanahan, aged 26, a farm labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Howrah" in 1874
  • Maria Shanahan, aged 18, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Apelles" in 1874
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Shanahan (post 1700) +

  • Michael Shanahan (1939-2018), American investor and owner of the NHL St. Louis Blues from 1986 through 1995
  • Brigadier General James G. Shanahan (1920-1997), American United States Army officer
  • Paul Gregory Shanahan (b. 1947), American former Major League Baseball pitcher
  • David E. Shanahan (1862-1936), American politician, Illinois Republican state legislator
  • Jeremiah Francis Shanahan (1834-1886), American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church, the first Bishop of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (1868 to 1886)
  • John Walter Shanahan (1846-1916), American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church, Bishop of Harrisburg (1899 to 1916)
  • Doug Shanahan (b. 1975), American professional lacrosse player
  • Kyle Shanahan (b. 1979), American NFL offensive coordinator for the Washington Redskins, son of Mike Shanahan
  • Chief Boatswain's Mate Patrick Shanahan (1867-1937), United States Navy sailor awarded the Medal of Honor for actions during the Philippine-American War
  • Michael Edward "Mike" Shanahan (b. 1952), American NFL football head coach of the Washington Redskins
  • ... (Another 12 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  3. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) HENY PORCHER 1838. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1838HenryPorcher.htm
  4. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 3 February 1852. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) PHOEBE DUNBAR 1852. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/phoebedunbar1852.shtml
  5. ^ South Australian Register Wednesday 15th March 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Hyderabad 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/hyderabad1854.shtml.
  6. ^ South Australian Register Monday 14th May 1855. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Europa 1855. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/europa1855.shtml
  7. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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