The McShane or Jackson Family

McShane or Jackson family crest

(Crest No. 312. Plate 24.)

THE McShane family is descended from Milesius, King of Spain, through the line of his son Heremon. The founder of the family was Eogan, ancestor of the Northern Hy Nials, and Son of Nial the Great, or of the Nine Hostages, King of Ireland, A. D. 379. The ancient name was O’Neill, which signifies “Champion,” and McShane signifies “Son of John.” The possessions of the sept were located in the present County of Tyrone.

The name has been Anglicized to Jackson and Johnson. Of this family was the Rev. William Jackson, a Protestant clergyman and prominent member of the United Irishmen. Having divulged his plans to an old friend, the latter revealed them to Pitt, and Mr. Jackson was arrested and tried for treason. When brought up for sentence, April 30, 1795, he managed before entering the dock to swallow a large dose of arsenic he had procured, not through any fear of the ignominious death to which the Government were about to consign him, but in order that, in dying before conviction, his family might inherit the little property he possessed. He died in the dock, and his body was interred in St. Michan’s, where a monument has been erected to his memory.

Andrew Jackson, President of the United States, was another member of the Ulster MacShanes. The name is numerous and prominent throughout the Province of Ulster. Many of them reside in the vicinity of Crieve, where they are large mill owners and noted sportsmen. They are among the most popular and respected people in the locality.