Sheesley 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 Sheesley 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 Sheesley family

The surname Sheesley 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 Sheesley family

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

Sheesley Spelling Variations

Many spelling variations of the surname Sheesley can be found in the archives. One reason for these variations is that ancient scribes and church officials recorded names as they were pronounced, often resulting in a single person being recorded under several different spellings. The different spellings that were found include O'Shea, O'Shee, McShea, McShee and others.

Early Notables of the Sheesley family (pre 1700)

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


United States Sheesley migration to the United States +

A great mass of Ireland's native population left the island in the 19th century, seeking relief from various forms of social, religious, and economic discrimination. This Irish exodus was primarily to North America. If the migrants survived the long ocean journey, many unfortunately would find more discrimination in the colonies of British North America and the fledgling United States of America. These newly arrived Irish were, however, wanted as a cheap source of labor for the many large agricultural and industrial projects that were essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest nations in the western world. Early immigration and passenger lists indicate many people bearing the Sheesley name:

Sheesley Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Anna Sheesley, aged 39, who immigrated to New York City, in 1923
  • Fononda Sheesley, aged 13, who settled in New York City, in 1923
  • Fred Sheesley, aged 39, who settled in America, in 1923
  • Frederick Sheesley, aged 39, who settled in New York City, in 1923

Contemporary Notables of the name Sheesley (post 1700) +

  • Brian Sheesley (b. 1959), American two-time Primetime Emmy Award winning and three-time Daytime Emmy Award winning animation director


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