Shee History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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

Early Origins of the Shee family

The surname Shee 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.

The O'Shee variant claims Kilkenny as their ancestral home. At one time they were one of the most important of the ruling families of Kilkenny. Robert O'Shee was sovereign of the area in 1493. This family alternated using the "O'" prefix as not, as later his son Richard Shee, the Sovereign of Kilkenny (1545-1546) and (1553-1554) was Member of Parliament for Kilkenny in 1559.

Early History of the Shee family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Shee research. Another 98 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1172 and 1500 are included under the topic Early Shee History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Shee Spelling Variations

Just like the English language, the Gaelic language of Ireland was not standardized in the Middle Ages. Therefore, one's name was often recorded under several different spellings during the life of its bearer. Spelling variations revealed in the search for the origins of the Shee family name include O'Shea, O'Shee, McShea, McShee and others.

Early Notables of the Shee family (pre 1700)

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

United States Shee migration to the United States +

Ireland became inhospitable for many native Irish families in the 19th centuries. Poverty, lack of opportunities, high rents, and discrimination forced thousands to leave the island for North America. The largest exodus of Irish settlers occurred with the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. For these immigrants the journey to British North America and the United States was long and dangerous and many did not live to see the shores of those new lands. Those who did make it were essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest and most powerful nations of the world. These Irish immigrants were not only important for peopling the new settlements and cities, they also provided the manpower needed for the many industrial and agricultural projects so essential to these growing nations. Immigration and passenger lists have documented the arrival of various people bearing the name Shee to North America:

Shee Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Morgan Shee, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746 [1]
Shee Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Arthur Shee, who landed in New York, NY in 1811 [1]
  • Mary Shee, who arrived in New York, NY in 1812 [1]
  • John Shee, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1871 [1]

Contemporary Notables of the name Shee (post 1700) +

  • Sir George Shee (1785-1870), 2nd Baronet, an English diplomat and politician, High Sheriff of County Galway in 1828, Minister Plenipotentiary to Prussia at Berlin from 1834 to 1835
  • Sir George Shee (1758-1825), 1st Baronet, a British government politician, Under-Secretary of State for War and the Colonies and Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department
  • Lt. Col Sir Martin Martin Archer- Shee DSO (1873-1935), British army officer and Conservative Party politician, Member of Parliament for Finsbury (1918-1923)
  • Sir William Shee QS (1804-1868), British politician, lawyer and judge from Irish descendants, the first Roman Catholic judge to sit in England and Wales since the Reformation
  • Sir Martin Archer Shee PRA (1769-1850), Irish-born, British portrait painter, President of the Royal Academy

  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) on Facebook
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