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

Origins Available: English, Irish


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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The surname Shinn was 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.

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.


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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
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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. 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.
  2. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  3. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  4. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  5. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  6. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  7. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  8. 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).
  9. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
  10. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  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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