Origin of the Name Shanahan
The ancient history of the name Shanahan
was found in the allfamilycrests.com archives.
Over the centuries Surnames developed a wide number of variants. Different spellings of the same name can be traced back to an original root. Additionally when a bearer of a name emigrated it was not uncommon that their original name would be incorrectly transcribed in the record books at their new location. Surnames were also often altered over the years based on how they sounded phonetically and depending on the prevailing political conditions it may have been advantageous to change a name from one language to another.
Variants of the name Shanahan
include Shannon, Sheenan, Gilshenan and Giltenan. These names are derived from three distinct Gaelic Irish septs. The O'Seanain sept is associated with Counties Carlow and Wexford where the name today is rare. The sept of O'Seahachain also anglicized their name as Shanahan as well as Shannon and are found in County Clare. At the time of the Williamite confiscations Irish names were written down as they sounded phonetically, hence Shanahan was often recorded as Shannon. They were a Dalcassian sept of sufficient importance to have a recognized Chief in early times and their territory lay between Bodyke and Feakle in County Clare, where these names still survive in some numbers to this very day.
The Shanahan coat of arms came into existence centuries ago. The process of creating coats of arms (also often called family crests) began in the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this. The new art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own coat of arms, including all Shanahan descendants.