Shirks History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Hundreds of years ago, the Gaelic name used by the Shirks family in Ireland was O Searcaigh, which is derived from the word "searcach," which means "loving."

Early Origins of the Shirks family

The surname Shirks was first found in Tyrone (Irish:Tír Eoghain), the ancient territory of the O'Neills, now in the Province of Ulster, central Northern Ireland, where they were established in ancient times.

Early History of the Shirks family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Shirks research. Another 116 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 157 and 1578 are included under the topic Early Shirks History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Shirks Spelling Variations

The recording of names in Ireland during the Middle Ages was an inconsistent endeavor at best. Since the general population did not know how to read or write, they could only specify how their names should be recorded orally. Research into the name Shirks revealed spelling variations, including Sharkey, O'Sharkey, Sharket, O'Serky, O'Sherkott, Sherkott, O'Sergoid and many more.

Early Notables of the Shirks family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Shirks family

A great mass of Ireland's native population left the island in the 19th century, seeking relief from various forms of social, religious, and economic discrimination. This Irish exodus was primarily to North America. If the migrants survived the long ocean journey, many unfortunately would find more discrimination in the colonies of British North America and the fledgling United States of America. These newly arrived Irish were, however, wanted as a cheap source of labor for the many large agricultural and industrial projects that were essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest nations in the western world. Early immigration and passenger lists indicate many people bearing the Shirks name: Peter Sharkey, who sailed to Virginia in 1649; George Sharkey was living in Maryland at the end of the 18th century, Barnard Sharkey sailed to Philadelphia in 1811.



The Shirks Motto +

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: Redit expectata diu
Motto Translation: The expected returns for a long time


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