Shields History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

This name was anglicized from Ó Siadhail in Gaelic, meaning an 'ancestor of Siadhail' (the prefix O denotes 'grandfather of'). Siadhail has been translated to mean 'sloth' or 'sluggishness'. As this name is descriptive of its original bearer, it is considered to be a nickname. However, many Irish of this name originally came from England or Scotland where the name Shields is derived from an Old English word meaning 'shed' or 'hut' - a somewhat more flattering meaning.

Early Origins of the Shields family

The surname Shields was first found in the Ulster region counties of Donegal, Derry, Antrim and Down. This family are reputed to be descendents of the great King Niall of the Nine Hostages.

Early History of the Shields family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Shields research. Another 99 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1548, 1545, 1677, 1745, 1693, 1698, 1800, 1879, 1886 and 1949 are included under the topic Early Shields History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Shields Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Shiel, Sheilles, Sheild, Sheill, Sheels, Sheils, Sheil, Shield, Shields, Shieles, Shiels, Shiells, Shielles, Shiell, Sheills, Sheilds and many more.

Early Notables of the Shields family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family name at this time was Luke O'Shiell (1677-1745), Irish Jacobite, born in Dublin who emigrated to Nantes, France after the Irish defeat, father of Mary O'Shiell, a French-Irish businessperson in Nantes and her sisters Agnés O'Shiell and Anne O'Shiell, founder of the family manor of the O'Shiell, Manoir de la Placelière, which became the gathering place of the large Irish colony in Nantes; Michael...
Another 68 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Shields Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Shields migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Shields Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Eliz Shields, who landed in Carolina in 1724 [1]
Shields Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Charles Shields, who landed in America in 1807 [1]
  • Alexander Shields, who arrived in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1808 [1]
  • Peter Shields, who arrived in America in 1808 [1]
  • George Shields, who arrived in America in 1811 [1]
  • Frindley Shields, who landed in New York, NY in 1815 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Shields migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Shields Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. David Shields U.E. who settled in St. Andrews, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1784 [2]
  • Mr. John Shields U.E. who settled in St. Andrews, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1784 [2]
Shields Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Patrick Shields, aged 20, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Nancy" in 1834
  • William Shields who migrated from Edinburgh was keeper of Cape Spear Lighthouse, Newfoundland and died in 1836 [3]
  • Mr. Edward Shields, aged 2 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Rose" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle in July 1847 [4]
  • Mr. William Shields, aged 1 year & 6 months who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Constitution" departing from the port of Belfast, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle on 28th May 1847 [4]
  • Mr. William Shields, aged 2 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Maria Somes" departing from the port of Cork, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle in September 1847 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Shields migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Shields Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Shields, a carpenter, who arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • John Shields, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Louisa Baillie" in 1849 [5]
  • Archibald Shields, aged 22, who arrived in South Australia in 1850 aboard the ship "Agincourt" [6]
  • Catherine Shields, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Anna Maria" on October 4, 1851, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [7]
  • Rosanna Shields, aged 22, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Agincourt"
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Shields migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Shields Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Shields, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Agra" in 1852
  • Mr. William Shields, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Bruce" arriving in Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand on 12th September 1860 [8]
  • Mr. William Shields, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Storm Cloud" arriving in Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 30th July 1861 [9]
  • Mr. James Shields, (b. 1830), aged 32, British ploughman travelling from London aboard the ship "Echunga" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 24th December 1862 [8]
  • Mrs. Marion Shields, (b. 1836), aged 26, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Echunga" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 24th December 1862 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Shields (post 1700) +

  • Brooke Christa Shields (b. 1965), American actress, author and model [10]
  • Teri Shields (b. 1933), American actress, film producer, socialite and mother of actress Brooke Shields [11]
  • Francis Xavier "Frank" Shields (1909-1975), famous amateur American tennis player
  • James Shields (1810-1879), American politician and U.S. Army officer
  • Christa Brooke Camille Shields (b. 1965), American actress and former fashion model better known as Brooke Shields
  • Francis Alexander Shields (1941-2003), American Republican, executive at Revlon, best known as the father of the actress Brooke Shields
  • Charles A. Shields, American fighter pilot and flying ace in the U.S. Navy, during World War II, credited with 5 aerial victories
  • Benjamin Glover Shields (b. 1808), American politician, Member of Alabama State House of Representatives, 1834; U.S. Representative from Alabama at-large, 1841-43; U.S. Charge d'Affaires to Venezuela, 1845 [12]
  • B. F. Shields, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Kentucky, 1956, 1960 [12]
  • B. F. Shields, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Kentucky, 1920, 1924, 1940 [12]
  • ... (Another 70 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

RMS Lusitania
  • Mrs. Retta Shields, American 1st Class Passenger from Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [13]
  • Mr. Victor E. Shields, American 1st Class Passenger from Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking and was recovered [13]


The Shields 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: Omne solum forti patria
Motto Translation: Every land is a native country to a brave man


Suggested Readings for the name Shields +

  • 557 Brooke's Book: Ancestry of Brooke Shields by Daniel MacGregor, Shields Family, Irish Origins of the Shields Family by John Edgar Shields.

  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  3. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  4. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 55)
  5. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The LOUISA BAILLIE 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849LouisaBaillie.htm
  6. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The AGINCOURT 1850. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1850Agincourt.htm
  7. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Anna Maria voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1851 with 200 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/anna-maria/1851
  8. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  9. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  10. ^ Brooke Shields. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Brooke Shields. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brooke_Shields
  11. ^ Teri Shields. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Teri Shields. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teri_Shields
  12. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 25) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  13. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 7) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/


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