The Shanley Family

Shanley family crest

(Crest No. 180. Plate 10.)

THE McShanley family is descended from Milesius, King of Spain, through the line of his son Ir. The founder of the family was Saran, son of Caolbhach, last King of Ulster of the Irian race. The ancient name was Sheanloichs, which means “Happiness.” The possessions of the sept were located in the present County of Donegal.

Many members of this family have acquired distinction in Ireland, the United States, and the British Colonies. Among them may be mentioned Charles Dawson Shanley, journalist, poet and dramatist, born in Dublin, Ireland, 1811, died in Florida, United States, 1875. After graduating from Trinity College, Dublin, he went to Canada, where he became Assistant Superintendent of the Department of Public Works, which position he held from 1842 to 1857. He then came to New York, where he gained a standing as a journalist and dramatic writer.

His brother, Walter Shanley, born in Queens County, Ireland, was the chief engineer in the construction of the railroads and canals of Canada. He also built the Hoosac Tunnel, Massachusetts (1869-75), in which he was assisted by his brother Francis. He was a member of the Canadian Assembly from 1863 to 1867, and after the formation of the Dominion he was twice re-elected by acclamation to the Ottawa Parliament.