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The Irish Rose

Shaughnessy Name History

Shaughnessy Irish Coat of Arms

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Th Shaughnessy name is derived for the Ó Seachnasaigh or O'Shaughnessy. The name is found primarily in County Galway and county Limerick. Their name derives from Seachnasach mac Donnchadh, a 10th-century member of theUi Fiachrach Aidhne, which the Ó Seachnasaigh were the senior clan of. The town of Gort, Ireland, was the main residence of the family since at least the time of their ancestor, King Guaire Aidne mac Colmain.

Family History for Shaughnessy

Up until the late 17th century, the Ó Seachnasaighs (Shaughnessys) held the subdistrict of Ui Fiachrach Aidhane known as Cenel Aeda na hEchtge (modern Irish, Cinéal nAedha na hEchtghe) meaning "kindred of Aedh of the Slieve Aughty", which was also their clan name. Cinéal nAedha na hEchtghe /Kinelea consisted roughly of the civil parishes of Beagh, Kilmacduagh and Kiltartan and also parts of the civil parishes of Kibeacanty and Kilthomas. Their closest related kinsmen were the O Cathail / O Cahill clan, originally chiefs of eastern Kinelea, and the other clans of Uí Fhiachrach Aidhne the most prominent of which were the Ó hEidhin / O Hynes, Ó Cléirigh / O Cleary and Mac Giolla Cheallaigh / Kilkelly septs. Up until the mid 17th century the O'Hynes clan were still styled lords of Uí Fhiachrach Aidhne even though the Ó Seachnasaigh's had become more powerful than their kinsmen during this century. In the 1690s Captain Roger O'Shaughnessy had his lands confiscated for supporting the Jacobite cause against William of Orange with the lands going to Sir Thomas Prendergast, 1st Baronet. A legal battle raged on into the first half of the 18th century between the Ó Seachnasaigh and the Prendergasts, the family who were granted the lands, with the Ó Seachnasaigh eventually losing the case. The senior line of the Ó Seachnasaighs may have died out in the 1780s.

O'Shaughnessy Castles include- Gort Castle, Fiddaun Castle, Ardnamullivan Castle, Newtown Castle, Derryowen, which is just inside the County Clare border, Ballymulfaig, and a castle on one of the islands in Lough Cutra. According to a list naming the castles of County Galway and their owners, drawn up in 1574 by the English administration in Ireland, Islandmore Castle, now known as Thoor Ballylee, is listed as been owned by a John O'Shaughnessy.

The last "de facto" Ó Seachnasaigh lord of Kinelea died at Gort after returning home from the Battle of Aughrim on 12 July 1691. Thousands of bearers of the name still survive both in their homeland and further abroad.

Learn more about the Shaughnessy family name.

The Framed Irish Family Name History, (#1760) has more information on the Shaughnessy surname. There is a wide selection of Shaughnessy coat of arms products at The Irish Rose. Please visit the Irish Coat of Arms page.

Where are the Shaughnessy pubs in Ireland?

If you're looking for a Shaughnessy pub in Ireland, we found one O'Shaughnessy's Pub in Letterkenny, County Donegal. Another O'Shaughnessy's Pub is in Castle Street, Ramelton, also County Donegal. And the third is Shaughnessy's Glin in Glin, County Limerick.

If you can't visit one of the Shaughnessy or O'Shaughnessy establishments, our personalized pub gifts are the next best thing!

Notable people named Shaughnessy

  • Adam Shaughnessy, author
  • Brenda Shaughnessy, poet
  • Charles Shaughnessy, actor known for "The Nanny"
  • Dan Shaughnessy, columnist for the Boston Globe newspaper
  • Ed Shaughnessy (d. 2013), drummer on the "The Tonight Show"
  • Haydn Shaughnessy, writer for Forbes magazine
  • Matt Shaughnessy (b. 1986), NFL player
  • Monica Shaughnessy, author
  • Morgan Shaughnessy, musician

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