Shunny History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Shunny surname originally appeared in Gaelic as O Sionnaigh, which is derived from "sionnach," which means "fox." [1]

Early Origins of the Shunny family

The surname Shunny was first found in County Mayo (Irish: Maigh Eo) located on the West coast of the Republic of Ireland in the province of Connacht, where they held a family seat. This most ancient Irish surname is derived from Sionnach, the Fox, an epithet used by the Chief of the Irish Cathernaigh Clann, a branch of the northern Ui Fiachrach.

However, some of the family were found in England in early days and there, the name was an occupational name for a Shinner or Skinner from the Old English word "scinn" meaning "skin." [2] There we found John le Scinner in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1279 in Cambridgeshire; Geoffrey le Schinner in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex in 1296; and John Schynnere in Hampshire in 1305. [2]

The shortened form of the name Shinn or Shynn was first found in Suffolk in the Pipe Rolls of 1165 where Herveus Schinn was listed. Hugo Scin was later found in the Pipe Rolls for Herefordshire in 1190. [2]

Early History of the Shunny family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Shunny research. Another 98 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 184 and 1845 are included under the topic Early Shunny History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Shunny Spelling Variations

In the Middle Ages many people were recorded under different spellings each time their name was written down. Research on the Shunny family name revealed numerous spelling variations, including Shiner, Shinner, Shunny, Shunagh, Shunnagh, Shinnick, Shinnock, Shinick and many more.

Early Notables of the Shunny family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Shunny family

Ireland saw an enormous decrease in its population in the 19th century due to immigration and death. This pattern of immigration began slowly in the late 18th century and gradually grew throughout the early portion of the 19th century. However, a dramatic increase in the country's immigration numbers occurred when the Great Potato Famine struck in the 1840s. The early immigrants to North America were primarily destined to be farmers tending to their own plot of land, those that came later initially settled within pre-established urban centers. These urban immigrants provided the cheap labor that the fast developing United States and soon to be Canada required. Regardless of their new lifestyle in North America, the Irish immigrants to the United States and Canada made invaluable contributions to their newly adopted societies. An investigation of immigrant and passenger lists revealed many Shunnys: L. Shiner who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1754; followed by John A. Shiner in 1868; W.S. Shinner who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1820.



  1. ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)


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