The Sheehan Family

Sheehan family crest

(Crest No. 202. Plate 59.)

THIS ancient Munster family is descended from Milesius, King of Spain, through the line of his son Heremon. The founder of this family was Brian, son of Eocha Moy Veagon, King of Ireland, A. D. 350. The ancient name was Sheehan, and signifies “The Lover.”

The chiefs of the sept, with the O’Cullens and O’Kenealys, had their possessions in the barony of Conello, County Limerick. Their territory was embraced in the limits of ancient Thomond, which extended from the Isles of Arran, off the coast of Galway, to Sliabh Eiblinni, now the Felim Mountains, in the County of Tipperary, and thence to Knockany, in the County of Limerick, and from Loophead, at the mouth of the Shannon, to Ossory, on the borders of Tipperary, Kilkenny, and the Queen’s Counties, thus comprising the County of Clare and the greater part of those of Limerick and Tipperary.

The O’Briens were the ruling sept of this territory, and among the lesser clans or septs we frequently find the names of the chiefs of the O’Sheehans.

This family is still numerous in Limerick, the ancient home of the race, and in many of the adjoining counties. The name is also numerous in the United States, and especially in Canada, whither a large number of them emigrated in the first quarter of this century. The Hon. William F. Sheehan, late Lieutenant-Governor of the State of New York, and his brother, Hon John C. Sheehan, recently Commissioner of Police of New York City, are descendants of this ancient Munster family.