Shanly family genealogy

Of Fernaught, County Leitrim

Arms: Az. a lion statant or, holding out the forepaw, in chief three estoiles of the second. Crest: A hand from below the wrist in armour, holding a broken sword.

BROCAN, brother of Maolmuire, who is No. 103 on the "Reynolds" pedigree, was the ancestor of O'Seanlaoich; anglicised MacShanly and Shanly.

103. Brocan: son of Eolus.

104. Seanlaoch ("sean:" Irish, old; Lat. "sen-ex:" "laoch:" Irish, a hero): his son: a quo O'Seanlaoich. This Seanlaoch had a brother named Conor, who was the ancestor of MacCulroy (modernized MacElroy and MacIlroy); and another brother named Giollchriosd (meaning "the devoted of Christ,") a quo Gillchriest and MacGillchriest.

105. Giollabrighid [Gillbride]: son of Seanlaoch.

106. Donoch: his son; died in the Abbey of Boyle, A.D. 1256.

107. Dunsithe: his son.

108. Gillbaire [Gillbarry]: his son.

109. Giolla Padraic [Gillpatrick] Buidhe: his son.

110. Teige: his son.

111. Giollaiosa [Gillacius]: his son.

112. Hugh Ruadh [Roe]: his son.

113. Maothan [Mahoon]: his son. Had three brothers—1. William, 2. "The Dean," 3. Dunsithe.

114. Dermod Dubh: his son.

115. Seona: his son.

116. Cormac: his son.

117. Gothfrith [Jeffrey], of Dromod: his son; chief of his name and clan. This Jeffrey had two sons: 1. Edmond, who had a son named Edmond Oge MacShanly; 2. Cormac.

118. William MacShanly: son of Cormac.

119. William Shanly: his son; lived for a time in the county Meath during the troublous times of the Commonwealth, but, upon the Restoration, returned to his old home at Dromod (or Drumod), and had grants from the Crown of certain lands in the county of Roscommon, outside of his patrimony in the county Leitrim.

120. William, of Dromod: his son; was named in King James's Charter to Jamestown, "Sovereign" of that borough, which he represented in Parliament in 1688. This William with his three brothers were loyal adherents of King James: all four held commissions in the Army, as did also their uncle Major Michael Shanly of Cargins. The fortune of war having declared against their cause, the five were included in the list of "attainted" gentlemen in Leitrim. When peace had been restored, the aforesaid William Shanly, M.P. for Jamesstown, chief of his clan, and Captain in O'Gara's Regiment, was found seized of a considerable estate, on which he fixed his residence at Fearnaught,overlooking the "stately Shannon:" here, for a century, the family was known "as Shanly of Fearnaught."

121. James Shanly, of Fearnaught: son of said William; m. in Feb., 1709, Miss O'Farrell,[1] dau. of Col. Roger O'Ferrall, of Mornin Castle, M.P. for Longford, by his wife, Mary, dau. of Sir Thomas Nugent.

122. William Shanly, of Fearnaught: son of James; had a brother Iriel, who d. unmarried. This William m. in May, 1734, Miss Jennings, and, with two daughters who did not marry, had four sons: 1. William;[2] 2. James; 3. Tobias; 4. Michael.

123. Michael: the said fourth son of William; was an officer in the 18th Light Dragoons, and, while with his Regiment in Tipperary, m. at Nenagh a widow lady, Mrs. Constable (her name was Jane Shaw), and dying suddenly (as his brother Tobias had died) at his house in Eccles-street, Dublin, in July, 1814, left three sons—1. Robert, 2. William, 3. James.

124. Rev. Robert Shanly, Rector of Julian's-town, co. Meath: eldest son of Captain Michael Shanly; m. Miss Stewart, and had one son William, and four daughters.[3]

William, second son of Captain Michael Shanly, succeeded his uncle of the same name in Willyfield (1815), and, until his death (in 1824), was a grand-juror and magistrate of his county (Leitrim). He m. Charlotte, dau. of Alexander Percy of Garradise, same county, and, with several daughters, had two sons—William, of Willyfield and Bush Hill, and James, of Riversdale. Of this family the eldest son William alone was living in 1879; he m. his cousin, Lavinia, dau. of Major John Percy of Garradise, and had one son and one daughter; his son William-John, was (in 1880) Captain in the Army.

James, the youngest of Captain Michael Shanley's three sons, Master of Arts, T.C.D., and a member of the bar, was of "The Abbey," Queen's County; Norman's-Grove, county Meath; and a magistrate of Leitrim. He m., first, Frances Elizabeth, dau. of Charles Mulvany of the City of Dublin, merchant, and, she dying in 1821, he m., secondly, Ellen, sister of his first wife; this lady d. in 1869. Mr. James Shanly emigrated to Canada in 1836, and, at his place of Thorndale, Ontario, d. 27th Oct., 1857, aged 79. Two generations of his family are now to be found in Canada, and they, with their near relatives, William Shanly, of Buttevant; William Shanly of Bush Hill, with his one son, William-John; and one other William (living somewhere abroad) son of James of Riversdale, above mentioned, are the sole representatives of their house. None others of the name, wheresoever to be found, can, within any recognisable degree of consanguinity, claim kindred with the Shanlys of Fearnaught.

125. William of Buttevant Castle: son of the Rev. Robert Shanly; living in 1879; and then unmarried.


[1] Miss O'Farrell: This lady was cousin-german to Diana O'Farrell, Countess of Effingham, dau. of Major-General Francis-Fergus O'Farrell.

[2] William: This William Shanly, of Fearnaught and Willyfield, died unmarried, He was High Sheriff of Leitrim in 1784; and, after a long life of praiseworthy record, d. at his place of Willyfield, in October, 1815, aged 80 years. His younger brother James also d. unmarried; and the third brother Tobias, of Dromodbeg, m. Prudence, dau. of Matthew Nesbitt, of Derrycarne, and had one daughter, and a son named Tobias, who was an officer in the 16th Regiment. The said third brother Tobias, d. suddenly: An enthusiastic fisherman, it was his wont, in pursuit of his favourite pastime, to anchor his boat in some of the bays or "loughs" of the beautiful Shannon, on the banks of which he was born and had passed his life, and was so found one day, fishing-rod in hand—dead. Of this branch of the family there are no descendants in the male line.

[3] Daughters: Of the four daughters three were married: Jane, to Henry Parsons, son of the Hon. John-Clerc Parsons, brother of the Earl of Rosse; Elizabeth, to Frederick-Henry Villiers; and Sarah, to John-Hungerford Sealy, of Barleyfield, county Cork.