Shinach History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Shinach surname originally appeared in Gaelic as O Sionnaigh, which is derived from "sionnach," which means "fox." [1]

Early Origins of the Shinach family

The surname Shinach was first found in County Mayo (Irish: Maigh Eo) located on the West coast of the Republic of Ireland in the province of Connacht, where they held a family seat. This most ancient Irish surname is derived from Sionnach, the Fox, an epithet used by the Chief of the Irish Cathernaigh Clann, a branch of the northern Ui Fiachrach.

However, some of the family were found in England in early days and there, the name was an occupational name for a Shinner or Skinner from the Old English word "scinn" meaning "skin." [2] There we found John le Scinner in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1279 in Cambridgeshire; Geoffrey le Schinner in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex in 1296; and John Schynnere in Hampshire in 1305. [2]

The shortened form of the name Shinn or Shynn was first found in Suffolk in the Pipe Rolls of 1165 where Herveus Schinn was listed. Hugo Scin was later found in the Pipe Rolls for Herefordshire in 1190. [2]

Early History of the Shinach family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Shinach research. Another 98 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 184 and 1845 are included under the topic Early Shinach History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Shinach Spelling Variations

The archives that survive today demonstrate the difficulty experienced by the scribes of the Middle Ages in their attempt to record these names in writing. Spelling variations of the name Shinach dating from that time include Shiner, Shinner, Shunny, Shunagh, Shunnagh, Shinnick, Shinnock, Shinick and many more.

Early Notables of the Shinach family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Shinach Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Shinach family

A massive wave of Irish immigrants hit North America during the 19th century. Although many early Irish immigrants made a carefully planned decision to leave left Ireland for the promise of free land, by the 1840s immigrants were fleeing a famine stricken land in desperation. The condition of Ireland during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s can be attributed to a rapidly expanding population and English imperial policies. Those Irish families that arrived in North America were essential to its rapid social, industrial, and economic development. Passenger and immigration lists have revealed a number of early Irish immigrants bearing the name Shinach: L. Shiner who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1754; followed by John A. Shiner in 1868; W.S. Shinner who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1820.



  1. ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)


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