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Surname O'Shields - Meaning and Origin

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O'Shields: What does the surname O'Shields mean?

The last name O'Shields is an Irish surname with roots that trace back centuries. Its derivation is derived from the Gaelic phrase "O’Siadhail” which means “descendant of Siadhal”. The root of the name is carried on in various spellings such as "O'Sheilds" or "O'Shiels".

The name is represented in several areas of Ireland, dating back the family can be traced to the medieval kingdom of Ulster, where they were an established tribe. Throughout the centuries, the O'Shields family has been involved in various battles and wars. The family fought for the British crown against the Catholic Irish during the 16th century.

The O'Shields last name is also associated with many kings throughout ancient Ireland's history. During the 13th century, the O'Shields clan were a big part in the Battle of Bannow, which was a clash between the Irish O'Connors and the Norman de Burghs in a bid to save their homeland.

Today, the descendants of the O'Shields are spread across all parts of the world. People bearing the O'Shields surname can still be found in many parts of Ireland, as well as countries such as The United States, Canada, and Australia.

The surname continues to be a reminder of proud Irish heritage and tradition. It carries with it a lineage of men and women who have stood up and fought for what they believed in, protecting their home and family from all outside forces.

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O'Shields: Where does the name O'Shields come from?

The surname O’Shields is most commonly found today in the United States. It is a rare but not uncommon surname in America, with the 2010 U.S. Census revealing around 692 people in the States who share the last name.

The surname originated in Ireland, with Irish records showing it as a variant spelling of O’Shiels, which is anglicised from the Irish Mac Gilleece. However, it is not known when or how many O’Shields made their way to America.

The ancestors of those O’Shields present in America today could most likely be traced back to either Northern Ireland or Southern Ireland. John O’Shields, an Ulster immigrant, settled in Edgecomb County, North Carolina in the 1700s, and was likely the ancestor of many of today’s O’Shields families. Another possible link to some of the families may be the Irish immigrants who fled the Irish Potato Famine in the 1840s and arrived in the Northeastern United States, specifically New York State, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.

In recent times, O’Shields has spread across the United States, with families popping up in a variety of states from coast to coast, including Arizona, Nevada, California, Texas, Kansas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. Additionally, there is a scattered presence of O’Shields families across Canada.

Today, the O’Shields name lives on despite the fact that it is not a particularly common surname. It is a testament to the original courage and determination of the individuals who first arrived in America and began the O’Shields legacy.

Variations of the surname O'Shields

The surname O'Shields is an Irish surname, derived from the Gaelic Ó Seaghdha, which translates to "descendant of Seaghdha". Seaghdha is a Gaelic personal name composed of the elements 'seaghdh', meaning proud, and 'adh', meaning noble. Historically, the O'Shields clan was a powerful military family, tracing its origins in County Offaly back to the 5th century.

Variations of this surname includes O'Shiels, O'Shields and Shields, with many variations of spelling including Shiels, Sheals, Shea, Sheils, Sheeley, Shells, Shelle, Shiel, Shields, Shill, Skill, Skillman, etc.

In the United States, the surname is especially common in the Pacific Northwest, with the vast majority of individuals bearing this name residing in Washington and Oregon. There are also numerous O'Shields families living in the Midwest, with a significant number living in Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. In addition, this surname has appeared in various other forms, such as Scheele in Germany, Scheel in Holland, and Cheel in England.

The Irish O'Shields family has had a long history in Europe, and this name continues to be popular among various cultures today. In the United States, this surname is oftentimes confused with other Irish surnames, such as O'Reilly, O'Hara, and O'Connell. However, the origin and unique spelling set this name apart from the others.

Famous people with the name O'Shields

  • Mark O'Shields: Mark O'Shields is a retired National Basketball Association (NBA) player. He was drafted by the San Antonio Spurs in 1989 and went on to play for the Los Angeles Lakers, Sacramento Kings, New Jersey Nets, Dallas Mavericks and Denver Nuggets. After retiring from the NBA in 1998, he became a coach and scout in the NBA.
  • Donn O'Shields: Donn O'Shields is an American professional basketball coach and executive. He began his career in the NBA as a scout for the Portland Trail Blazers in 2000, then served as the head coach of the Utah Jazz from 2004-2008. Since then, he has been an executive with the New Orleans Pelicans, and in 2014 was named Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations with the New York Knicks.
  • Desirée O'Shields: Desirée O'Shields is an American actress and singer. She is best known for her roles on the television series Charmed and Boomtown. She has also been featured in films such as What Women Want and the A-Team.
  • Sam O'Shields: Sam O'Shields is a retired MLB baseball player who played from 1988-1996 for the Atlanta Braves, San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, and Cleveland Indians. He was an All-Star in 1989 and is best known for hitting the first grand slam in the history of the Atlanta Braves.
  • Rob O'Shields: Rob O'Shields is an American actor, comedian, and impressionist. He has appeared in several films and television shows, such as Saturday Night Live, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, 50/50, and The New Girl.

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