Sheehan Surname Genealogy
“peaceful.” The Sheehan sept traditionally used a dove
of peace in its coat of arms.
variants are Sheahan and Sheen. The latter spellings
appeared outside Ireland.Select
Sheehan Resources on
- Sheehan. Sheehan clan history.
- Sheahan Family. Sheahan genealogy.
- Sheehan of Ireland.
- Sheehan DNA Project. Sheehan DNA.
Sheehan sept is believed to have originated in county Clare, but moved
southward to Kilcredan parish in county Cork by the 14th century.
Spellings in the 17th century show O’Sheaghan and Shyghan, as well as
Sheehan. Sheehans are still
in county Cork. Almost 40% of
Sheehans in Ireland today live there. Sheehan Brothers,
for instance, have been traditional butchers in Cork since 1870. Sheehans are also in neighboring Kerry and
Limerick. Angela Sheehan of Angela’s Ashes
came from Limerick.
was particularly hard hit by the famine in the 1840’s. Many
Sheehans left at that time, to America and elsewhere. Sheehans
later due to land evictions. The Sheehan numbers are now larger outside
Ireland than within.
Some Sheehans arrived in
America during the 18th century. Most
came in the 19th
century. New York and Massachusetts were
the main points of arrival. Among those
Sheehan who arrived
around 1848 and started a wholesale liquor store in Troy, New York
Michael Sheehan with his wife Ellen who
came to Utica, New York in 1855
Sheehan from Dingle in Kerry who arrived in Boston in the 1860’s and
- and three Sheehan siblings
from Cork – brothers Callahan and John and sister Mary – who came in
and settled in the Boston area.
Carlson’s 1990 book The Sheehans in
America was a portrait of an early Sheehan family in America.
Many did well
in the new land. George Sheehan,
and son, became prominent New York cardiologists, the latter
making a name
for himself as a guru for recreational running. A
Sheehan family ran a dairy farm in Holyoke
in western Massachusetts in the 1930’s and 1940’s.
Their son Neil became a New York Times reporter
and won the Pulitzer Prize for his Secret History of the
and Honorah Sheehan came to New Brunswick sometime in the 1830’s. Their first child was born in St. John in
1839 and their descendants are still to be found there.
Sheehans were also in Peterborough county,
Ontario. The 1851 census lists a number of
families. The oldest were four brothers
– Daniel, John, Michael and William – all born in Ireland between 1790
1800. Joseph and Margaret Sheehan from
Clear Island off Cork came with Peter Robinson’s settlers in 1825 and
made their home
in Ennismore township.
New Zealand. Early
Sheehan arrivals (although not too many of them) were convicts. John Sheehan was transported to Australia for
life in 1823 for his part in a raid on the English barracks near his
Doneraile in Cork. He married a fellow
convict Ann Toomey and, after they had obtained their ticket of leave,
settled in the Burrowa district of NSW and raised eight children. John died in 1858 but his wife Ann Sheehan
lived onto 1906.
David Sheehan had
come with his family to Melbourne from Ireland around 1840, but moved
on a year
or so later to Auckland, NZ. They lived
in the Warkworth area and David was the landlord of the Governor Browne
in Auckland. His son John became a
lawyer and had a short-lived political career.
If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:
D.D. Sheehan was an
Irish nationalist agitator and politician who became editor of the Dublin Chronicle in the 1920’s.
Michael Sheehan, Archbishop of
Sydney in Australia in the 1920’s and 30’s, was a great proponent of
the revival of the Irish language.
Winfield Sheehan was Fox
Film’s producer and general manager during the 1920’s and ’30’s.
was a New York cardiologist who became the
philosopher of the recreational running movement in the 1970’s and
Barry Sheene, born in London,
was a world champion motorcycle racer of the 1970’s.
Martin Sheen, the film actor,
changed his name from Ramon Estevez because he thought he would gain
more recognition with an Irish name than with a Spanish one.
Select Sheehans Today
- 9,000 in the UK (most numerous
- 12,000 in America (most numerous in Massachusetts)
- 20,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Ireland)
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