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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, Irish


This name was anglicized from Siadhail in Gaelic, meaning an 'ancestor of Siadhail' (the prefix O denotes 'grandfather of'). Siadhail has been translated to mean 'sloth' or 'sluggishness'. As this name is descriptive of its original bearer, it is considered to be a nickname. However, many Irish of this name originally came from England or Scotland where the name Shields is derived from an Old English word meaning 'shed' or 'hut' - a somewhat more flattering meaning.

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The surname Shield was first found in the Ulster region counties of Donegal, Derry, Antrim and Down. This family are reputed to be descendents of the great King Niall of the Nine Hostages.

Spelling variations of this family name include: Shiel, Sheilles, Sheild, Sheill, Sheels, Sheils, Sheil, Shield, Shields, Shieles, Shiels, Shiells, Shielles, Shiell, Sheills, Sheilds and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Shield research. Another 197 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1548, 1545, 1677, 1745, 1693, 1698, 1800, 1879, 1886 and 1949 are included under the topic Early Shield History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 255 words (18 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Shield Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Shield Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Thomas Shield settled in Virginia in 1638
  • Walter Shield settled in America in 1650
  • George Shield, who landed in Maryland in 1660
  • William Shield, who arrived in Maryland in 1676
  • Daniel Shield, who arrived in Maryland in 1677


Shield Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Jahan Nickell Shield, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1739
  • Samuel Shield, who arrived in Virginia in 1775

Shield Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Terence Shield, aged 34, landed in New York in 1812
  • Francis Shield, aged 28, arrived in New York in 1812
  • William J Shield, who landed in Texas in 1835
  • Henrich Shield, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1854
  • Henry Shield, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1854


Shield Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Elizabeth Shield, aged 22, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Warren Hastings"

Shield Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Charles Shield arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Crusader" in 1882

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  • William B. Shield, American politician, Postmaster at Middletown, Delaware, 1796-99
  • Richard Shield, American politician, Candidate for Mayor of Austin, Texas, 1981, 1988
  • Richard Shield, American politician, Industrial Candidate for Presidential Elector for Pennsylvania, 1916
  • James M. Shield, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Tennessee, 1860


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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: Omne solum forti patria
Motto Translation: Every land is a native country to a brave man

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  1. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  2. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
  3. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
  4. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  5. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  6. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  7. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  8. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  9. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
  10. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  11. ...

The Shield Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Shield 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 9 August 2015 at 11:24.

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