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

Origins Available: English, Irish

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

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

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. 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, but there is no record of any relationship to the surname.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Shields research. Another 285 words (20 lines of text) covering the years 1274, 1296, 1403, 1515, 1702, 1707, 1783, 1660, 1700 and are included under the topic Early Shields History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 39 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Shields Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Shields family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 223 words (16 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Shields Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Eliz Shields, who landed in Carolina in 1724

Shields Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Charles Shields, who landed in America in 1807
  • Alexander Shields, who arrived in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1808
  • Peter Shields, who arrived in America in 1808
  • George Shields, who arrived in America in 1811
  • Frindley Shields, who landed in New York, NY in 1815


Shields Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Patrick Shields, aged 20, arrived in Saint John aboard the ship "Nancy" in 1834
  • William Shields who migrated from Edinburgh was keeper of Cape Spear Lighthouse, Newfoundland and died in 1836

Shields Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • John Shields, a carpenter, arrived in Van Diemenís Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • John Shields arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Louisa Baillie" in 1849
  • Archibald Shields, aged 22, arrived in South Australia in 1850 aboard the ship "Agincourt"
  • Catherine Shields, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Anna Maria" on October 4, 1851, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • Rosanna Shields, aged 22, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Agincourt"


Shields Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Thomas Shields arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Agra" in 1852
  • William Shields arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cairngorm" in 1863
  • Euphemia Shields arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cairngorm" in 1863
  • Patrick Shields arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Triumph" in 1883
  • Catherine Shields arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Triumph" in 1883

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  • Mrs. Retta Shields (d. 1915), American 1st Class Passenger from Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking
  • Mr. Victor E. Shields (d. 1915), American 1st Class Passenger from Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking and was recovered
  • Brooke Christa Shields (b. 1965), American actress, author and model
  • B. F. Shields, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Kentucky, 1920, 1924, 1940
  • Ann Marie Shields, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Massachusetts, 1980
  • A. S. L. Shields, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1900, 1904
  • B. F. Shields, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Kentucky, 1956, 1960
  • Benjamin Glover Shields (b. 1808), American politician, Member of Alabama State House of Representatives, 1834; U.S. Representative from Alabama at-large, 1841-43; U.S. Charge d'Affaires to Venezuela, 1845
  • Bernice Shields, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Michigan, 1984
  • Brad Shields, American Republican politician, Candidate in primary for Texas State Board of Education 10th District, 2000

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  • Brooke's Book: Ancestry of Brooke Shields by Daniel MacGregor.
  • Shields Family.
  • Irish Origins of the Shields Family by John Edgar Shields.
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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: Vincit qui patitur
Motto Translation: He conquers who endures.

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  1. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  3. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  4. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  5. 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).
  6. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  7. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  8. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  9. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  10. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  11. ...

The Shields Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Shields 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 25 November 2015 at 10:02.

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