Scotch-Irish-L ArchivesArchiver > Scotch-Irish > 2002-07 > 1025564845
From: "Summitt" <>
Subject: [Scotch-Irish] Shields Family in County Antrim--for Ron Boyd
Date: Mon, 1 Jul 2002 16:07:25 -0700
1 July 2002
Feast of the Most Precious Blood
Have you seen John Edgar Shields's "Irish Origins of the Shields Family"? I can make a copy and send it to you if you would like. It's about as specific as I've seen on the origins of William Shields of Armagh who died in Emmitsburg, Frederick Co., Md. But that's not terribly specific. Nevertheless, here are a few of the nuggets from the book:
In Irish the name is O'Siadhail, usually Anglicised as Shiels, Sheils, Shields or Sheilds rather than O'Shiel, and these forms are chiefly found in Counties Donegal, Derry, Antrim and Down. Though claiming descent from Niall of the Nine Hostages, the O'Shiels were known as a medical family, rather than as a territorial sept." from Edward McLysaght's Irish Families--The Names, Arms and Origins.
John Edgar Shields gives, for what it's worth, a quote from a biography of General James Shields, William Henry Condon's 1900 "Life of Major-General James Shields, Hero of Three Wars and Senator from Three States":
"There is much in heredity. His [General Shields's] patrnal ancestors for many generations had been imbued with military spirit. They lived at Shanes Castle in the County of Antrim. The father and four sons of one of the earliest ancestors of which any record can be found and authenticated [named, according to John A. Shields, a prolific American genealogist of the family, Daniel Shields, and claimed to be a brother to the William, James and John Shields who were ancestral to the major connected line of the family in America--John Edgar's interpolation] espoused the cause of King James of England against William. At the Battle of the Boyne the father and one son were killed. Daniel, the youngest son, found their bodies the night after the battle and buried them. He then rejoined the Irish army and fought at Aughrim, Athlone and at the siege of Limerick. After its surrender the surviving brothers separated never to meet again. The two eldest went with some of the Iris!
h soldiers to Spain, where one rose to a high grade as an officer and finally became governor-general of Cuba. The youngest, Daniel, returned to his home in the north of Ireland, amid the mountains of Tyrone, then about the only refuge for Catholic patriots, misnamed rebels. Secretly he visited the home of his childhood, to find all his father's estate confiscated and granted to a follower of King William."
For what it's worth. According to another of John Edgar Shields's books, the History of the Shields Family, it was Daniel who was killed at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, and his brothers William and James who were deported from Ireland to Barbados, and eventually made their way to Virginia. I do not have sources on these events. But it seems that Mr. Shields has visited Ireland and examined some original sources, during the week he was there in 1974. He cites, for instance, a 1659 compilation of data which is usually referred to as the 1659 Census. In County Antrim he found only a Dr. Daniell O'Shiell, gent. among the tituladoes names (proprietors) in the Division of Fivagh (96 English, 135 Irish). In Armagh he found 6 O'Sheall names in Dyer Barony among the principal Irish names (from p. 87 of Irish Origins of the Shields Family). There are some other notations of records that he looked at.
My favourite possible Scotch-Irish ancestor is William Robe, d. 1803 in Monongalia County, Va. (now West Va.). He studied to become a Presbyterian minister in his youth, but never preached, owing to a speech impediment. In 1772 he first appears in the records of what is now Monongalia County, along with his son, William Jr. In his old age he was very deaf, and would stand next to the pulpit on Sundays to hear the sermon. The building where the Presbyterian services were held on Sundays was the county courthouse. William is said to have been found dead with a nail driven through his temple (at age 84, yet he had the foresight to have drawn his will 2 years earlier). The oral history that records his murder cites cryptically Judges 4:21 "Then Jael Heber's wife took a nail of the tent, and took an hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the nail into his temples, and fastened it into the ground: for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died."
Margaret Robe Summitt
|[Scotch-Irish] Shields Family in County Antrim--for Ron Boyd by "Summitt" <>|