Sheenan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The western seacoast of Scotland and the rugged Hebrides islands made up the ancient Kingdom of Dalriada, the ancestral home of the Sheenan family. Sheenan is a name 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.

Early Origins of the Sheenan family

The surname Sheenan was 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.

Early History of the Sheenan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sheenan research. Another 112 words (8 lines of text) covering the year 1548 is included under the topic Early Sheenan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sheenan Spelling Variations

Historical recordings of the name Sheenan include many spelling variations. They include They are the result of repeated translations of the name from Gaelic to English and inconsistencies in spelling rules. Shannon, Shennan, Shennane and others.

Early Notables of the Sheenan family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Sheenan family to Ireland

Some of the Sheenan family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Sheenan migration to the United States +

Numerous Scottish settlers settled along the east coast of the colonies that would become the United States and Canada. Others traveled to the open country of the west. At the time of the American War of Independence, some remained in the United States, while those who remained loyal to the crown went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The highland games and Clan societies that sprang up across North America in the 20th century have helped many Scots to recover parts of their lost traditions. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Sheenans to arrive in North America:

Sheenan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Donald Sheenan, aged 30, who arrived in New York in 1849 [1]


The Sheenan 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: Virtute Duce
Motto Translation: With virtue for guide.


  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)


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