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

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

The surname Sheeran is derived from Mac Searthuin, which means son of Searthun. The personal name Searthun is equivalent to Geoffrey.


Church officials and medieval scribes spelled names as they sounded; therefore, single person, could have his name spelt many different ways during their lifetime. While investigating the origins of the name Sheeran, many spelling variations were encountered, including: Shearing, Sheering, Sheeran, Sharron, Sherren, Sherran, Shirran, Sheeran, Sheerin, O'Shearing, O'Sheering, O'Sheeran, O'Sharron, O'Sherren, O'Sherran, O'Shirran, O'Sheeran, O'Shearing and many more.

First found in County Donegal (Irish: Dún na nGall), northwest Ireland in the province of Ulster, sometimes referred to as County Tyrconnel, where they held a family seat, some say before the Anglo Norman invasion of Ireland by Strongbow in 1172. However, others claim that it is an offshoot of the Prendergast Clan in County Mayo, where they adopted the Gaelic name of O'Sirin, and established themselves on the Donegal/ Fermanagh border about the year 1250.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sheeran research. Another 181 words(13 lines of text) covering the years 1659 and 1673 are included under the topic Early Sheeran History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 37 words(3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sheeran Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Ireland went through one of the most devastating periods in its history with the arrival of the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s. Many also lost their lives from typhus, fever and dysentery. And poverty was the general rule as tenant farmers were often evicted because they could not pay the high rents. Emigration to North America gave hundreds of families a chance at a life where work, freedom, and land ownership were all possible. For those who made the long journey, it meant hope and survival. The Irish emigration to British North America and the United States opened up the gates of industry, commerce, education and the arts. Early immigration and passenger lists have shown many Irish people bearing the name Sheeran:

Sheeran Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Catherine Sheeran, aged 18, landed in New York in 1849
  • Edwd. Sheeran, aged 23, who landed in America, in 1893
  • Eliza Sheeran, aged 20, who emigrated to the United States, in 1896

Sheeran Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Beatric Sheeran, aged 19, who landed in America from Ballymote, Ireland, in 1907
  • Bridget Sheeran, aged 21, who emigrated to the United States from Ballymote, Ireland, in 1909
  • Cecelia Sheeran, aged 24, who landed in America from Kildare, Ireland, in 1912
  • Ellen Sheeran, aged 24, who settled in America from Kildare, Ireland, in 1912
  • James Sheeran, aged 24, who landed in America from Mountrath, Ireland, in 1914

Sheeran Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Michael Sheeran, aged 25, a farm labourer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Hudson" in 1879
  • Catherine Sheeran, aged 17, a servant, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Hudson" in 1879


  • Josette Sheeran (b. 1954), American Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme
  • Paschal Sheeran, Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Sheffield
  • Paul W Sheeran, Assistant Professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
  • Mark Sheeran (b. 1982), former English professional football striker


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: Vincit Veritas
Motto Translation: Truth conquers.


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  1. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  2. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  3. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  4. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  5. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  6. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  7. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  8. 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.
  9. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  10. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  11. ...

The Sheeran Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Sheeran 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 2 December 2013 at 19:25.

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