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

Origins Available: English, Irish

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

The surname Shinn is originally a name that appeared in Gaelic as O Seanachain, which is derived from the word "sean," meaning "old."

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Individual scribes in the Ireland during the Middle Ages would often record a person's name various ways. How the name was recorded depended on what that particular scribe believed the proper spelling for the name pronounced to him was. Spelling variations revealed in the search for the origin of the Shinn family name include Shanahan, O'Shanahan, Shahan, Shannon, Gilshenan and many more.

First found in County Clare (Irish: An Clįr) located on the west coast of Ireland in the province of Munster, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Shinn research. Another 409 words (29 lines of text) covering the years 1318, 1802, 1863, and 1877 are included under the topic Early Shinn History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 34 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Shinn Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The English-ruled Ireland of the late 18th and 19th centuries featured a rapidly increasing population and an agricultural-based economy. This combination proved to be disastrous in the 1840s after a couple of failed potato harvests. Thousands died of disease and starvation, and thousands more left the country, often bound for North America. Those that survived the journey to North America were put to work building the bridges, canals, roadways, and railways needed for the development of an industrial society. Those Irish, although often despised by those already established in North American cities and towns, played an instrumental role in making Canada and the United States the powerful and wealthy nations that they are today. An examination of early immigration and passenger lists has shown many immigrants bearing the name Shinn:

Shinn Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • John Shinn, who landed in New Jersey in 1678

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  • R. P. Shinn (d. 1923), American Republican politician, Presidential Elector for West Virginia, 1916; Member of West Virginia State Senate 4th District, 1921-23
  • David H. Shinn (b. 1940), American diplomat and professor, 19th United States Ambassador to Ethiopia (1996-1999)
  • Anne O'Hagan Shinn (1869-1933), American suffragist, journalist, and writer of short stories
  • Everett Shinn (1876-1953), American realist painter and member of the Ashcan School
  • Lieutenant Commander Conrad "Gus" S. Shinn, U.S. Navy pilot who made the first plane landing at the geographic South Pole, eponym of Mount Shinn, Antarctica
  • Moses Franklin Shinn (1809-1885), American pioneer Methodist Episcopal Church minister in Omaha, Nebraska
  • William Norton Shinn (1782-1871), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New Jersey (1833-1837)
  • Christopher Shinn (b. 1975), American OBIE Award (2005) and Guggenheim Fellowship in Playwriting (2005) winning playwright, a Pulitzer Prize finalist (2008)
  • Milicent Washburn Shinn (1858-1940), American child psychologist, the first woman to receive a doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley
  • George Shinn (b. 1941), American former owner of the Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets, the Charlotte Knights and the Gastonia Rangers

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Most Popular Family Crest Products
 
Shinn Armorial History With Coat of ArmsShinn Armorial History With Coat of Arms
Shinn Coat of Arms & Surname History PackageShinn Coat of Arms & Surname History Package
Shinn Family Crest Image (jpg) Heritage SeriesShinn Family Crest Image (jpg) Heritage Series
Shinn Coat of Arms/Family Crest Key-chainShinn Coat of Arms/Family Crest Key-chain
Shinn Coat of Arms/Family Crest Coffee MugShinn Coat of Arms/Family Crest Coffee Mug
Shinn Armorial History with FrameShinn Armorial History with Frame
Shinn Framed Surname History and Coat of ArmsShinn Framed Surname History and Coat of Arms

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  1. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  2. 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.
  3. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  4. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
  5. 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.
  6. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  7. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  8. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  9. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  10. 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.
  11. ...

The Shinn Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Shinn 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 22 October 2015 at 11:38.

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