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Shirky History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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

Early Origins of the Shirky family

The surname Shirky 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 Shirky family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Shirky research.
Another 231 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 157 and 1578 are included under the topic Early Shirky History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Shirky Spelling Variations

Just like the English language, the Gaelic language of Ireland was not standardized in the Middle Ages. Therefore, one's name was often recorded under several different spellings during the life of its bearer. Spelling variations revealed in the search for the origins of the Shirky family name include Sharkey, O'Sharkey, Sharket, O'Serky, O'Sherkott, Sherkott, O'Sergoid and many more.

Early Notables of the Shirky family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Shirky family to the New World and Oceana

Death and immigration greatly reduced Ireland's population in the 19th century. For the native Irish people poverty, hunger, and racial prejudice was common. Therefore, thousands left their homeland to seek opportunity in North America. Those who survived the journey and the quarantine camps to which they arrived, were instrumental towards building the strong developing nations of the United States and the future Canada. By far, the largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. These were employed as construction or factory workers. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has shown early immigrants bearing the name Shirky: 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.

Contemporary Notables of the name Shirky (post 1700)

  • Louis Shirky, American founder of the Church of the Brethren, York Center, Illinois by purchasing the Goltermann farm for the housing cooperative
  • Clay Shirky (b. 1964), American writer, consultant and teacher

The Shirky 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

Shirky Family Crest Products

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