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Origins Available: English, Irish


Irish names tend to vary widely in their spelling and overall form. The original Gaelic form of the name 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.

Shay Early Origins



The surname Shay 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.

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Shay Spelling Variations


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Shay Spelling Variations



Names from the Middle Ages demonstrate many spelling variations. This is because the recording scribe or church official often decided as to how a person's name was spelt and in what language. Research into the name Shay revealed many variations, including O'Shea, O'Shee, McShea, McShee and others.

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Shay Early History


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Shay Early History



This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Shay research. Another 232 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1172 and 1500 are included under the topic Early Shay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Shay Early Notables (pre 1700)


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Shay Early Notables (pre 1700)



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

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The Great Migration


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The Great Migration



To escape the religious and political discrimination they experienced primarily at the hands of the English, thousands of Irish left their homeland in the 19th century. These migrants typically settled in communities throughout the East Coast of North America, but also joined the wagon trains moving out to the Midwest. Ironically, when the American War of Independence began, many Irish settlers took the side of England, and at the war's conclusion moved north to Canada. These United Empire Loyalists, were granted land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula. Other Irish immigrants settled in Newfoundland, the Ottawa Valley, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, however, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America and Australia. Many of those numbers, however, did not live through the long sea passage. These Irish settlers to North America were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. Irish settlers made an inestimable contribution to the building of the New World. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the Irish name Shay or a variant listed above, including:

Shay Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • John L Shay, aged 15, landed in North Carolina in 1812
  • Mary Shay, aged 20, arrived in America in 1821
  • Andw Shay, aged 26, arrived in America in 1821
  • Timothy Shay, who arrived in New York in 1850
  • William Shay, who arrived in New York in 1851
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Shay Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • James Shay, who arrived in Quebec in 1849

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Contemporary Notables of the name Shay (post 1700)


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Contemporary Notables of the name Shay (post 1700)



  • Jerry Shay (b. 1944), former American NFL football player
  • Ephraim Shay (1839-1916), American Inventor, entrepreneur, eponym of the Shay locomotive
  • Dorothy Shay (1921-1978), American popular comedic recording artist
  • Art Shay (b. 1922), American photographer
  • Jennifer Mary Shay OC (b. 1930), Canadian academic and ecologist

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Suggested Readings for the name Shay


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Suggested Readings for the name Shay



  • Shay Families with Roots in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania by Thomas P. Shay.

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Shay Family Crest Products


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Shay Family Crest Products




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See Also


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See Also




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Citations


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Citations



    Other References

    1. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
    2. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
    3. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
    4. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
    5. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992. Print.
    6. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
    7. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
    8. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
    9. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
    10. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
    11. ...

    The Shay Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Shay Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

    This page was last modified on 31 August 2016 at 09:45.

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