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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the Scottish Sheena family come from? What is the Scottish Sheena family crest and coat of arms? When did the Sheena family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Sheena family history?

The ancient Dalriadan-Scottish name Sheena is a nickname for a person noted as possessing great wisdom, or an elderly person. The surname is derived from the Irish Gaelic name O Seanain, which comes from the word sean, which has the double meaning of old and wise.

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In the Middle Ages, the translation between Gaelic and English was not a highly developed process. Spelling was not yet standardized, and so, an enormous number of spelling variations appear in records of early Scottish names. Sheena has appeared as Shannon, Shennan, Shennane and others.

First found in Kintyre, where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Scotland to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sheena research. Another 247 words(18 lines of text) covering the year 1548 is included under the topic Early Sheena History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Sheena Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Sheena family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 123 words(9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The descendants of the Dalriadan families who made the great crossing of the Atlantic still dot communities along the east coast of the United States and Canada. In the American War of Independence, many of the settlers traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Clan societies and highland games have allowed Canadian and American families of Scottish descent to recover much of their lost heritage. Investigation of the origins of family names on the North American continent has revealed that early immigrants bearing the name Sheena or a variant listed above include: James Shannon arrived in Boston in 1764; A. C. D. and M. Shannon arrived in Baltimore in 1820; Anne, Catherine, Honoria, James, Jonathon, Luke, Terry Shannon, all arrived in Boston in 1850..

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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: Virtute Duce
Motto Translation: With virtue for guide.

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  1. Skene, William Forbes Edition. Chronicles of the Picts, Chronicles of the Scots and Other Early Memorials of Scottish History. Edinburgh: H.M. General Register House, 1867. Print.
  2. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  4. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and Don Pottinger. Clan Map Scotland of Old. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1983. Print.
  5. Moody David. Scottish Family History. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0806312688).
  6. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  7. Fairbairn,. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  8. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  9. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  11. ...

The Sheena Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Sheena 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 27 October 2010 at 13:58.

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