Sharkey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Hundreds of years ago, the Gaelic name used by the Sharkey family in Ireland was O Searcaigh, which is derived from the word "searcach," which means "loving."

Early Origins of the Sharkey family

The surname Sharkey was first found in Tyrone (Irish:Tír Eoghain), the ancient territory of the O'Neills, now in the Province of Ulster, central Northern Ireland, where they were established in ancient times.

Early History of the Sharkey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sharkey research. Another 116 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 157 and 1578 are included under the topic Early Sharkey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sharkey Spelling Variations

A name was often recorded during the Middle Ages under several different spelling variations during the life of its bearer because literacy was rare there was no real push to clearly define any of the languages found in the British Isles at that time. Variations found of the name Sharkey include Sharkey, O'Sharkey, Sharket, O'Serky, O'Sherkott, Sherkott, O'Sergoid and many more.

Early Notables of the Sharkey family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Sharkey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Sharkey migration to the United States +

Death and immigration greatly reduced Ireland's population in the 19th century. For the native Irish people poverty, hunger, and racial prejudice was common. Therefore, thousands left their homeland to seek opportunity in North America. Those who survived the journey and the quarantine camps to which they arrived, were instrumental towards building the strong developing nations of the United States and the future Canada. By far, the largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. These were employed as construction or factory workers. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has shown early immigrants bearing the name Sharkey:

Sharkey Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Peter Sharkey, who sailed to Virginia in 1649
  • Peter Sharkey, who landed in Virginia in 1649 [1]
Sharkey Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • George Sharkey was living in Maryland at the end of the 18th century
  • Hugh Sharkey, who arrived in America in 1795 [1]
Sharkey Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Barnard Sharkey, who sailed to Philadelphia in 1811
  • John Sharkey, who arrived in America in 1848 [1]
  • John O Sharkey, who landed in Texas in 1850-1906 [1]
  • Patrick Sharkey, who arrived in America in 1852 [1]
  • Joseph Sharkey, who landed in America in 1854 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Sharkey Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Catherine Sharkey moved to North Dakota in 1910

Canada Sharkey migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Sharkey Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Margaret Sharkey, who sailed to Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833
  • Margaret Sharkey, aged 21, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Condor" in 1838
  • Mr. Judith Sharkey, aged 19 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Greenock" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle in September 1847 [2]
  • Mr. Patrick Sharkey, aged 29 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Greenock" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle in September 1847 [2]
  • Mrs. Catherine Sharkey, aged 20 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Virginius" departing 28th May 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 12th August 1847 but she died on board [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Sharkey migration to Australia +

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

Sharkey Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr.Thomas Sharkey, (b. 1801), aged 18, Irish labourer who was convicted in Dublin, Ireland for 7 years for burglary, transported aboard the "Bencoolen" on 24th April 1819, arriving in New South Wales, Australia before being transferred to Tasmania via the "Admiral Cockburn", he died in 1883 [4]

New Zealand Sharkey 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:

Sharkey Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • P Sharkey, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1841
  • Andrew Sharkey, aged 26, a blacksmith, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Wild Duck" in 1873

Contemporary Notables of the name Sharkey (post 1700) +

  • Jerry Sharkey (1943-2014), American Wright brothers historian, conceived idea for Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park
  • Edward Joseph Sharkey (b. 1927), former American NFL football linebacker
  • William J. Sharkey (1885-1918), American officer in the United States Navy during World War I, eponym of the USS Sharkey (DD-281)
  • Tom "Sailor Tom" Sharkey (1873-1953), American boxer who fought from 1893 to 1904, named to the Ring Magazine's list of 100 greatest punchers of all time
  • Raymond "Ray" Sharkey (1952-1993), American actor, best known for his role as Sonny Steelgrave in the television series Wiseguy
  • Jack Sharkey (1902-1994), born Joseph Paul Zukauskas, American heavyweight boxing champion
  • Joseph Edward Sharkey, American journalist
  • Thomas C Sharkey, American physician who served with the USAF
  • Frederick P. Sharkey, American Democrat politician, Candidate for New Jersey State House of Assembly 39th District, 1975 [5]
  • Frank P. Sharkey, American Democrat politician, Postmaster at Mauch Chunk, Pennsylvania, 1894-95; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1896, 1916 (alternate) [5]
  • ... (Another 21 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. Martin Sharkey, British Cook from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and survived the sinking [6]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. John     Sharkey, English Electric Attendant from England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [7]


The Sharkey 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: Redit expectata diu
Motto Translation: The expected returns for a long time


Suggested Readings for the name Sharkey +

  • 3704 "Louth to Louisiana: The Story of the Sharkey Family and their Kindred" by Nicholas Russell Murray, "The Sharkey Family" by Margaret Sharkey Welch.

  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. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 55)
  3. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 95)
  4. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 5th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/bencoolen
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 29) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  6. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  7. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 7) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/


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