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

Origins Available: Irish, Scottish


In ancient Scotland, Shivley was a Strathclyde-Briton name for someone who lived in the old barony in the parish of Tarves, Aberdeenshire. The name Shivley comes from Gaelic seamhas, meaning "a narrow place in a river."

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The surname Shivley was first found in Devon, where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Prior to the first dictionaries, scribes spelled words according to sound. This, and the fact that Scottish names were repeatedly translated from Gaelic to English and back, contributed to the enormous number of spelling variations in Scottish names. Shivley has been spelled Shivas, Shives, Chivas, Shivis, Shivez, Shivers, Shevas and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Shivley research. Another 341 words (24 lines of text) covering the years 1393, 1477, 1526, and 1648 are included under the topic Early Shivley History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Shivley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Shivley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 68 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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In such difficult times, the difficulties of raising the money to cross the Atlantic to North America did not seem so large compared to the problems of keeping a family together in Scotland. It was a journey well worth the cost, since it was rewarded with land and freedom the Scots could not find at home. The American War of Independence solidified that freedom, and many of those settlers went on to play important parts in the forging of a great nation. Among them: Samuel Shiva who was on record in Boston Massachusetts in 1651; Richard Shevers, who was in the records of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1694; James and Henry Shivers, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1847.

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  • Laura Shivley, American actress, known for her work on Blood Was Everywhere (2011) and The Doctor (2005)
  • Doug Shivley, American Atlanta Falcons Defensive Coordinator
  • W. Phillips Shivley, American Professor of Political Science at the University of Minnesota


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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: Virtute non vi
Motto Translation: By virtue not by force.

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  1. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  2. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  3. Scots Kith and Kin And Illustrated Map Revised 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Clan House/Albyn. Print.
  4. Bloxham, Ben. Key to Parochial Registers of Scotland From Earliest Times Through 1854 2nd edition. Provo, UT: Stevenson's Genealogical Center, 1979. Print.
  5. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  6. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Socts Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Modern Application of the Art of Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  7. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
  8. Browne, James. The History of Scotland it's Highlands, Regiments and Clans 8 Volumes. Edinburgh: Francis A Niccolls & Co, 1909. Print.
  9. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  10. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Shivley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Shivley 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 19 November 2014 at 22:08.

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