Sheehan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The spelling and overall form of Irish names tend to vary widely. The original Gaelic form of the name Sheehan is O Siodhachain, which may be derived from "siodhach," which means "peaceful."

Early Origins of the Sheehan family

The surname Sheehan was first found in County Limerick (Irish: Luimneach) located in Southwestern Ireland, in the province of Munster, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.

Early History of the Sheehan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sheehan research. Another 65 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sheehan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sheehan Spelling Variations

Irish names were rarely spelled with much consistency during the Middle Ages. As the many spelling variations of the name Sheehan dating from that time attests: Sheehan, Sheeham, Sheahan, O'Sheehan, Sheagan and many more.

Early Notables of the Sheehan family (pre 1700)

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

Sheehan World Ranking

In the United States, the name Sheehan is the 1,302nd most popular surname with an estimated 22,383 people with that name. [1] However, in Australia, the name Sheehan is ranked the 666th most popular surname with an estimated 5,881 people with that name. [2] And in New Zealand, the name Sheehan is the 723rd popular surname with an estimated 989 people with that name. [3]


United States Sheehan migration to the United States +

The 19th century brought a massive reduction in Ireland's population. It seemed that during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s the Irish people had two options: starve or immigrate. Those that chose the later frequently headed for the United States, hopeful for land, work, and equality. Those determined for free land joined the migration west; while others stayed behind to live in urban centers and often work in factories. Still others began a transitory life in work camps, building the bridges, canals, railways, and highways so critical to the rapidly development of the growing industrial nation. Early passenger and immigration lists have shown many early immigrants bearing the name Sheehan:

Sheehan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Sheehan, his wife Bridget, and six children arrived in Prescott in 1825
  • Godfrey Sheehan, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1827 [4]
  • Jeremiah Sheehan, who landed in Mississippi in 1840 [4]
  • Daniel, Denis, James, Michael, Patrick, Thomas, and William Sheehan all, who arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1870
  • Cornelious Sheehan, who landed in Tippecanoe County, Ind in 1842 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Sheehan migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Sheehan Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Walter Butler Sheehan U.E. who settled in Home District [York County], Ontario c. 1784 he served in the 34th Regiment [5]
Sheehan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Tim Sheehan, who landed in Canada in 1823
  • Anne Sheehan, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1823
  • Cornelius Sheehan, who arrived in Canada in 1823
  • Honors Sheehan, who arrived in Canada in 1823
  • Joanna Sheehan, who arrived in Canada in 1823
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Sheehan migration to Australia +

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

Sheehan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Cornelius Sheehan, (b. 1799), aged 19, Irish convict who was convicted in Cork, Ireland for life, transported aboard the "Earl St Vincent" on 9th August 1818, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • Cornelius Sheehan Mr. settled in New South Wales, Australia in 1823 [7]
  • Mr. Michael Sheehan, (Sheen), Irish ploughman who was convicted in Limerick, Ireland for 7 years for assault, transported aboard the "British Sovereign" on 16th December 1840, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [8]
  • Ann Sheehan, aged 17, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Elgin" in 1849 [9]
  • Ann Sheehan, aged 17, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Elgin" [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Sheehan 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:

Sheehan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • David Sheehan, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1842 aboard the ship Bolivia
  • Daniel Sheehan, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Gipsy" in 1854
  • Mr. Daniel Sheehan, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Gipsey" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 25th October 1854 [10]
  • Mrs. Sheehan, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Gipsey" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 25th October 1854 [10]
  • Mr. Michael Sheehan, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Gipsey" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 25th October 1854 [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Sheehan (post 1700) +

  • Susan Sheehan (b. 1937), American journalist, she won the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 1983
  • Cornelius Mahoney "Neil" Sheehan (1936-2021), American journalist from Holyoke, Massachusetts who was awarded the 1989 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction and a National Book Award for his 1988 book A Bright Shining Lie
  • David Sheehan (1937-1938), American broadcaster, interviewer, host and reporter
  • Thomas Clancy "Tom" Sheehan (1894-1982), American Major League Baseball pitcher, scout and manager
  • Michael Jarboe Sheehan (b. 1939), American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church, 11th Archbishop of Santa Fe (1993-)
  • Tyler Allen Sheehan (b. 1987), American football quarterback
  • Patty Sheehan (b. 1956), American professional LPGA golfer with 35 LPGA wins, inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame
  • William F "Blue Eyed Billy" Sheehan (1859-1917), American politician, Lieutenant Governor of New York, 1892-1894
  • Patrick Joseph "P.J." Sheehan (1933-2020), Irish Fine Gael politician who served as a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Cork South-West constituency from 1981 to 2002 and 2007 to 2011
  • John Joe Sheehan (1929-2020), Irish Gaelic footballer for Kerry (1949-1955)
  • ... (Another 16 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Grover Shoe factory
  • Mr. James Sheehan, American employee of the Grover Shoe factory in Brockton, Massachusetts on 20th March 1905 when the boiler exploded and collapsed the wooden building; he survived by leaping from the 3rd story window [11]
SS Newfoundland
  • Mr. Mike Sheehan (b. 1895), Newfoundlander from St. John's, who on the 30th March 1914 he was part of the Seal Crew of the "SS Newfoundland" leaving the ship to intercept the Stephano which took him to the hunting grounds, he disembarked to begin sealing, but was caught in a thickening storm, attempting to return to the Newfoundland he and the 132 crew made camp for two days the sealers were stranded on the ice in a blizzard attempting to return to the ship, he survived


  1. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  2. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  3. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 9th September 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-st-vincent
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th September 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-st-vincent
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 30th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/british-sovereign
  9. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) ELGIN 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Elgin.htm
  10. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  11. ^ California Digital Newspaper from 21st March 1905 (retrieved on 5th August 2021.) Retrieved from https://cdnc.ucr.edu/?a=d&d=SFC19050321.2.19&e=-------en--20--1--txt-txIN--------1


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