Sheils History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Sheils family

The surname Sheils was first found in Berwickshire where the name was local in origin. The Middle English version of the name was "schele" or "skali" which was "used first of a shepherd's summer-hut or small house." This distinguished Clan took their name from the reivers small houses or huts which abounded on the eastern English/Scottish border. [1]

Robbie Burns included the line "the swallow jinkin around my shiel." North Shields and South Shields located on the north bank of the River Tyne and the mouth of the same river date back to 1225-1245, [2] but there is no record of any relationship to the surname.

"Thomas of le Scheie was juror on an inquisition made at Traqueyr, 1274. William Schelle of the county of Edeneburk rendered homage [to King Edward I of England in] 1296. Symon de Scheie was dean of guild in Edinburgh, 1403, and William de Schellis, presbyter and notary public in the diocese of Glasgow, 1448. Gilbert Schell witnessed sasine of lands of Walle, 1469, and John Scheill was citizen of Glasgow, 1527. Andro Cheill or Cheild was tenant of land of West Scheill, 1515, and Andro Scheill, tenant in barony of Glasgow in same year. Alexander Sheilds or Shields (1660-1700), the Covenanter, wrote his name 'Shells.' " [3]

Just over the border in northern England, we found Robert Scild in the Pipe Rolls for Yorkshire in 1206 and later, William Sheld in the Assize Rolls for Staffordshire in 1267. Here the name is thought to have probably denotes "a maker of shields. " [4]

Early rolls also included Roger ate Schelds in the Subsidy Rolls for Surrey in 1332, Geoffrey le Seldmakere in Essex in 1285 and Adam Scheldman in the Subsidy Rolls for Suffolk in 1327. [4]

Early History of the Sheils family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sheils research. Another 143 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1274, 1296, 1403, 1515, 1702, 1707, 1783, 1660, 1700, 1753 and are included under the topic Early Sheils History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sheils Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Shiel, Shiell, Shiels, Shiells, Sheil, Sheill, Sheils, Sheills, Shield, Shields, O'Shiel, O'Shields and many more.

Early Notables of the Sheils family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family name during their early history was William Schelle of Edinburgh; and Alexander Shields or Sheilds (1660-1700), a Scottish nonconformist minister, activist, and author from Earlston, Berwickshire. Robert Shiels, Shiells or Shields (d. 1753), was a Scottish...
Another 38 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sheils Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Sheils family to Ireland

Some of the Sheils family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 118 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Sheils migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Sheils Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • William Sheils, aged 29, who arrived in New York in 1919 aboard the ship "Toloa" from Liverpool via Brest [5]
  • Bernard Sheils, who arrived in New York in 1919 aboard the ship "Mauretania" from Southampton, England [6]
  • William Sheils, aged 46, who arrived in New York in 1919 aboard the ship "Byron" from Rio de Janeiro [7]
  • Michael Stephen Sheils, originally from Liverpool, who arrived in New York in 1919 aboard the ship "Mauretania" from Southampton, England [8]
  • Bridget Sheils, aged 22, originally from Letterkenny, Ireland, who arrived in New York in 1920 aboard the ship "Columbia" from Londonderry, Ireland [9]

Australia Sheils migration to Australia +

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

Sheils Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Peter Sheils, Scottish convict who was convicted in Edinburgh, Scotland for 10 years, transported aboard the "Bangalore" on 28th March 1848, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) from Bermuda [10]

Contemporary Notables of the name Sheils (post 1700) +

  • William J. Sheils, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1932; Candidate for Justice of New York Supreme Court 9th District, 1935 [11]
  • P. Sheils, English Headmaster at Abbotsford Preparatory School, Urmston, Greater Manchester, England
  • Tony "Doc" Sheils, English paranormal researcher, known for his "sightings" of the Owlman or Cornish Owlman in the mid 1970s at Mawnan, Cornwall
  • Darren Sheils, member of the Ireland national Australian rules football team in 2011


The Sheils 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: Vincit qui patitur
Motto Translation: He conquers who endures.


  1. ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  2. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J6QC-WTB : 6 December 2014), William Sheils, 11 Jan 1919; citing departure port Liverpool via Brest, arrival port New York, ship name Toloa, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  6. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J6WJ-ZM8 : 6 December 2014), Bernd. Sheils, 27 Oct 1919; citing departure port Southampton, arrival port New York, ship name Mauretania, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  7. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J6WR-T65 : 6 December 2014), William Sheils, 21 Aug 1919; citing departure port Rio de Janeiro, arrival port New York, ship name Byron, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  8. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J64C-L3B : 6 December 2014), Michael Stephen Sheils, 26 Sep 1919; citing departure port Southampton, arrival port New York, ship name Mauretania, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  9. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J6H9-26X : 6 December 2014), Bridget Sheils, 06 Sep 1920; citing departure port Londonderry, arrival port New York, ship name Columbia, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  10. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 15th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/bangalore
  11. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 22) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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