O’Shea Clan Responses (comments)

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65 Responses to O’Shea Clan Responses (comments)

  1. Oisin Breatnach says:

    A document in Bilbao, contains a genealogy of the Shee/Shea attested to by notable bishops etc of ireland.It states that from Thady Shee (married to a Mc Dermot Roe) evolved the Shees of Kilkenny and from Richard Shee(married to a Mac Carthy Mor) evolved the Tipperary branch.

    • oshea says:

      Hi Oisin,

      Do you have any further details of the document which is in Bilbao? There are various Shee manuscripts in the National Library of Ireland but it is interesting to hear about other locations where there are genealogies for the Shees. Some of the genealogies which imply that the Tipperary or Kilkenny Shees derived from the Kerry O’Sheas are Medieval fabrications as the yDNA testing is showing us. The O’Shea yDNA Project is showing that the Tipperary/Kilkenny Shees (aka Sheas and O’Sheas) are not related to the Kerry O’Sheas at all.

      Margaret (O’Shea) Jordan

  2. Oisin Breatnach says:

    Thanks for your email.The Basque document is an Inquisition document for Edmond Shee(Edmunddo Shee), (born abt 1678??) son of Robert Shee and Elena Meagher (dau of John)Back to you very soon with more info .Beir bua, Oisin

  3. Oisin Breatnach says:

    Hi, have a bit more time to reply now.
    The doc in the archives here does not suggest that the Shee originate from Kerry, I think.

    Here is a synopsis of that doc:
    Robert Shee
    Father: poss John Shee?
    Mother: poss Joan Comerford?
    Spouse: Elena Meagher
    of Cumsinagh (Tipperary)
    Father: John O Meagher

    Edmundo Shee
    Birth: abt 1678?
    Death: 4 May 1751? b Conv San Agustin, Bilbao tomb 26(since demolished)
    Father: Roberto Shee
    Mother:Elena Meagher of Cumsinagh, co. Tipperary
    Spouse: Francisca Philips
    Frances Philips, living at Dublin, died before 1718
    Father: Juan Philips
    Mother: Juana Stamers
    Edmundo Shee

    Edmundo Shee
    expediente 1721
    Birth: abt 1698 Dublin
    Father: Edmundo Shee
    Mother:Francisca Philips of Dublin
    Marriage: abt 1722 Bilbao?
    Spouse: not in expediente so

    There is a long Genealogy(am still deciphering-The documents are sometimes very difficult to read, either through bad handwriting or damage. I speak 7 languages and am well suited for the job but unfortunatly not paid for doing this. So its a question of when I have the time.)

    trans by Fray Juan de Sto Thomas (Killikelly?)

    and attested to by the following:
    Cristobal, (poss Comerford?) Arch Cashel
    Malachia, Arch of Derry?
    Pablo Bellew, . chantze.de la iglesia Cathedral de Waterford y vicario general
    *Rouste Phelan, canonigo de la iglesia Cathedral de Kilkenny …of Gowran?
    Antonio Knoles(Knowles) … de Compania de Jesus (i.e. SJ) en Irlanda
    Juan Higgins de Compania de Jesus en Irlanda… Waterford
    Ignacio Roche

    • Juan Sardina says:

      It is a very interesting and difficult line of research. I have seen a typed copy of this particular file for Edmundo Shee, but it seems to be incomplete. It doesn’t all the names you mention. There seems to be a second file or expediente for one of his son, Juan Jose, who moved to Talavera de la Reina, where he needed a copy of the papers his father had presented at Bilbao. I don’t know if this second copy has additional information. Another son, Thomas Valentin, went to Chile where he founded a family. I know a descendant in the female line. I am not sure if there are any male descendants in Chile or Spain at this time. J. Sardina

  4. Oisin Breatnach says:

    Hi Margaret O Shea Jordan,

    Well, on further study it does seem to suggest they originate from Kerry and were kings of Uibh Rathach (latinised Ybratiagh).
    It mentions a Macdara (?) who was king of Munster or Connacht for seven years from which the O Shee descend and refers to antiquarians /chroniclers O Donegan and O Duinin.

    Also mentioned are an uncle of Edmond called William who married a cousin, daughter of the O’Shee of Cloran-This might be a Catalina, daughter of Richard, referred to later in the document.;
    John Shee of Dublin, whom the attestors claim is the inheritor of the title the O Shee and who appears to be the great grandfather of Edmundo who applied for citizenship in 1721 and who also ´proved his nobility to the Spanish Inquisition then. He went on to marry Anna cathalina Rameri and had, as far as I have discovered, 6 sons and 5 daughters (Surname Shee Rameri in the Spanish custom giving both fathers and mothers (paternal) surname..

    Could you send me the Clarancieux genealogy so I can compare with the garbled version here_
    Go raibh mile maith agat,

    Have read an interesting article: http://osheas.de/Unsere-Geschichte.8806.0.html?&L=0.

    • oshea says:

      Hi Oisin,

      The document may state that the Shees originated in Kerry (as do other medieval Shee manuscripts) but the O’Shea yDNA Project has shown that the Tipperary and Kilkenny O’Sheas are NOT related to the Kerry O’Sheas at all. it looks like the medieval pedigrees were fabricated to give an ancient Irish origin to the Shees. However, it looks like the Shees arrived in Ireland in Norman times.

      Thanks, Oisin for going through the manuscript and for sharing it with us. The manuscripts tend to be accurate from the time frame in which the Shees were actually in Tipperary and Kilkenny. Is it a case of Normans wanting to “become more Irish than the Irish themselves” as the old saying goes? Hence the creation of a false link to the Kerry O’Sheas?

      Margaret Jordan

      • Jared Olar says:

        “the O’Shea yDNA Project has shown that the Tipperary and Kilkenny O’Sheas are NOT related to the Kerry O’Sheas at all.”

        More precisely, the y-DNA shows that the Tipperary/Kilkenny O’Sheas are not related to the Kerry O’Sheas *in the male line*. We don’t know if there wasn’t one or more intermarriages between the Tipperary/Kilkenny Shees and the Kerry O’Sheas which could account for an Anglo-Norman family adopting the Gaelic surname. Another possibility is that the Tipperary/Kilkenny Shees arose from a cuckolding, such that they thought their father was their mother’s husband, a native Irish O’Shea, but their father unbeknownst to them was in fact a member of a newcomer Anglo-Norman family. Or perhaps the Shee surname was imported from England, and when their true origins had been forgotten, the similarity to O’Shea led the Shees to assume they were a branch of the Kerry O’Sheas.

        There’s no way to be certain, but anyway it cannot be affirmed that the y-DNA Project has shown that the Tipperary/Kilkenny O’Sheas are not related to the Kerry O’Sheas at all.

        • Jared Olar says:

          . . . I would add, however, that although I mentioned cuckolding as one explanation for the belief that the Tipperary/Kilkenny O’Sheas were a branch of the Kerry O’Sheas, I personally don’t think it’s a very likely explanation. When Shees or O’Shees first appear in Tipperary, some have Gaelic given names while others have Norman given names. If a Kerry O’Shea wife had secretly committed adultery with an Anglo-Norman, her children would all have had Gaelic names. The occurrence of Norman names among the early Tipperary Shees indicates that they did not originate from undetected adultery.

  5. Oisin Breatnach says:

    Hi Margaret,
    I have a question-if the O shea and the Shee are not related, does that exclude the O Shees of having a Kerry (Iveragh) background?
    You may be right re the genealogy but..could you be wrong?
    I cannot imagine a pedigree of 1312 (?) stating an Irish background if it were not true….but who knows. Whats your own theory re the O Shee?
    Beir bua, Oisin

    • oshea says:

      Hi Oisin,

      There is absolutely no evidence from the yDNA that that any Tipperary/Kilkenny Shees ever set foot in Kerry. All our Kerry O’Sheas have a specific yDNA signature and are positive on the L513 SNP, while the Tipperary/Kilkenny Shees (Sheas and O’Sheas )are positive on the Z253 SNP (and thereby negative on L513). These yDNA SNPs are thousands of years old and provide a convincing argument that the Tipperary/Kilkenny Shees (Sheas and O’Sheas) had a completely different origin from the Kerry Sheas and O’Sheas.

      I believe that certain scholars also believe that there is no connection between the Kerry O’Sheas and the Tipperary/Kilkenny Shees. By the way, the NW Cork O’Sheas (of which I am one) have no connection with the Tipperary/Kilkenny or Kerry O’Sheas. This was a surprise result from the yDNA Project also.


      • Dennis O'Shea(NC-USA) says:

        Hi Margaret-Terrific reading here on the clan history, but have to ask a question on your comment. You mention the ‘NW Cork’ O’Sheas not having a connection to the Kerry O’Sheas? I wondered did you mean like they were a more distant cousins, or completely un-related? That would be very surprising, in that we have to wonder how we share a surname, but yet are not related by bloodlines.

        • oshea says:

          Hi Dennis,

          What we call the NW Cork O’Sheas in our results spreadsheet have tested Z255+ while the Kerry O’Sheas (the main group in our results spreadsheet) test L513+. These SNPs are several thousands of years old and indicate that these separate groups are not connected for thousands of years although both groups are L21+ (even older than Z255 and L513). So, in genealogical terms they are not related.


  6. James O'Shea says:

    Some years ago in doing research I received a copy of a document in Spanish with a number 471 on the front said to be the genealogy of Edmundo Shee whose parents were Edmund Shee & Francisca Philips and grandparents Robert Shee and Elena Meagher of Drumsanagh. Edmundo (c1680-1751) was born in Dublin and became a successful merchant in Bilbao. He is mentioned in the book The Irish Community in the Basque country c1700-1800 by Amaia Bilbao Acedos. He would appear to be the same one mentioned by Oisin. I understand these Spanish based genealogies were produced for specific purposes such as army commissions or citizenships both of which were helped if applicants could prove a distinguished background. As such the accuracy of these genealogies were almost invariably fantasised at the worst or exaggerated at the best. I would tend to ignore it as a historical record.

    I would agree with Margaret that there is no hard evidance linking the Kerry O’Sheas with those in Killkenny/Tipperary

    James O’Shea

  7. Oisin Breatnach says:

    James, a chara,
    You may be right but you may also be wrong.
    Remember that we are talking about a Spanish Inquisition document here, sworn to by individuals with serious consequences if the evidence was found to be false. It would also be checked out by the Inquisitions agents.And we are also talking here about a time of great upheaval and strict penal laws with dispersion, and destruction of the framework of previous Irish society.
    The genealogy in question links Edmundo to a third son (Henry) of Richard O Shee who married a daughter of O Sullivan Mor, the other two being Richard, ancestor of the Tipperary O Shee and Thady, ancestor of the Kilkenny O Shee.
    My own guess is that it is correct.

    The issue of whether Shea and O Shee are related is not at issue here….
    Beir bua,
    Oisin Breatnach

    p.s. The document referred to is indeed that numbered 471 but your Meagher mentioned above is from Kimsinagh (Cumsinagh) and not Drumsinagh.
    p.s.s. Re Spanish based genealogies being suspect because they might be fabricated-let them be suspect but not dismissed out of hand. They are worthy of serious investigation, and some of them may indeed be fabricated and others genuine as is the case with all genealogies.
    p.s.s. The Cloran genalogies we usually see in Burke etc begin with Lucas but we know that the Cloran line existed for several generations before that. That points to large holes in the O Shee genealogy in my opinion.

  8. Jared Olar says:

    Perhaps one of the admins can do me a little favor:

    What is the bibliographical citation of “Origins of the O’Shea Clan: Origins of the O’Shea Clan from O’Kief, Coshe, Mang”? Which book does it come from, author/editor, year of publication, and page number?

    • oshea says:

      I posted that note some years ago. It is quoted directly from O’Kief, Coshe Mang, a set of volumes compiled by Albert E. Casey, Alabama, over a period of time in the 1970s. I have checked my photocopy and the paragraph on the O’Shea surname is on page 2374 but I need to go back to the library and confirm which volume it is from. I will post the information here when I get around to doing that!

      Margaret Jordan

      • Jared Olar says:

        Thanks, Margaret. I’m working on my own treatment of the history of the O’Shea surname and of the Tipp/KK group, and I intend to include a discussion of the two (erroneous) traditions that the Tipp/KK group were 1) a branch of the Kerry O’Sheas, or 2) a branch of the Eoganachta, and I need to the bibliographical reference for that reason. I’ve seen that the latter tradition is attributed to Keating (see Healy’s 1893 History and Antiquities of Kilkenny), but I wonder about that — the tradition is found in Comerford’s English translation of Keating, but it’s not in O’Mahony’s 1866 annotated translation of Keating. Anyway, the Eoganachta tradition of O’Shee origins is mentioned in the early 1800s, it seems.

        Even though the Tipp/KK group, as Irish Type IV/Continental, were neither Kerry O’Sheas nor Eoganachta, nevertheless I wonder if some O’Sheas were in fact Eoganachta, and the tradition of their origins was incorrectly imputed to the Shees/O’Shees of Tipperary and Kilkenny.

        • oshea says:

          Here is the exact origin of the O’Kief, Coshe Mang piece on the O’Sheas:
          O’Kief, Coshe, Mang, Vol. XI which photocopied from “Irish Pedigrees by John O’Hart, Vol. I, original edition Dublin 1887.

        • Hi Folks
          Just wondered onto the site as I’m preparing a lecture on yDNA and surname studies for a UL group at the moment, and thought your site is an excellent example to use of a serious and valuable surname organization approach to genetic genealogy. I would be well-known to both James and Margaret. Just to say that as a professional scholar I’ve completed a very thorough history, funded by the Irish government, of the Kerry O Sheas as well as some basic research into the Tipperary/Kilkenny people as well as one other and also unrelated sept. Apologies for this not being yet available, I’m hamstrung by others on the project finishing their pieces, after which the whole will be printed. The historical conclusion is that there were three unrelated O’Shea septs which agrees well with the yDNA results. The methodology used in this research is pristine and I spent several months working full time on this. Please take it from me that historically there is no connection whatsoever between the Tipp and Kerry O Sheas nor the third group. And I am very familiar with material from as early as 1604 claiming the existence of such a relationship. I should say that I am a leading expert with many publications on medieval Irish and especially Munster history.
          Hope that was helpful
          Dr. Paul MacCotter, UCC and UL (and see http://www.paulmaccotter.com)

        • john kingi says:

          Greetings from NZ .. Just to let you know that on my gt gf Edmund shea/ o’shea born 1829 Kilkenny died New Zealand 1904 the surname Shethe was also put in brackets…. not sure of this significance..His father was Thomas born about 1795 married Ellen Miles…Cant trace any of this line.. Helen O’shea Kingi

  9. Jared Olar says:

    Thanks, Margaret!

    I have the original passage from O’Hart, vol. 1, p.757:

    “According to Cronnelly’s ‘Irish Family History,’ there was also in Desmond a family named _O’Seagha_ (‘seagha :’ Irish, _ingenious, crafty, cunning_), of the line of Heber, who took their name from Seagha, a descendant of Eoghan Mor, son of Olioll Olum, who is No. 84 on the ‘Line of Heber,’ _ante_. The two sirnames _O’Seaghdha_ and _OSeagha_ would be pronounced alike ; but, it may be observed that the Four Masters do not mention the latter name.”

    The main group of Kerry O’Sheas belong to the South Irish sub-clade, as do various Eoghanachta clans — but from what I can tell, I think the Kerry O’Sheas do not have Eoghanachta DNA. I don’t know if any other O’Sheas have y-DNA that matches one or more known Eoghanacht clans. I could be that this tradition arose simply from the fact that the O’Sheas were a Munster clan, and certain writer were more familiar with the Eoghanact genealogy than they were with the traditional Corco Duibne genealogy (of which O’Hart himself was ignorant).

  10. Jared Olar says:

    Further searching on the internet has clarified where Casey got the information he quoted/copied in O’Kief, Coshe, Mang. It wasn’t John O’Hart’s “Irish Pedigrees” after all. Rather, it was Richard Francis Cronnelly’s “Irish Family History,” part I, p.247. O’Hart cited Cronnelly, and it is Cronnelly’s little essay on the O’Sheas that appears in O’Kief, Coshe, Mang.

    Healy’s 1893 Kilkenny history refers to Playfair’s Baronetage of Ireland (1809) as the source for a tradition that the O’Shees of Tipperary/Kilkenny came from Eoghan Mor, son of Oilioll Ollum. Healy also quotes Keating, as I mentioned above, but I don’t know if Keating really claimed Oilioll Ollum was ancestor of the O’Sheas.

  11. James O'Shea says:

    When I became interested in my family genealogy about 10 years ago I eagerly looked at O’Hart, O’Keefe, MacLysaght, the originals of trees at the National Library and Genealogy Office etc. I gradually became disillusioned and now really play little attention as I have no belief in their accuracy in relation to ancient origins. Paul MacCotter a professional historian in Cork has made reference to the absence of proven records and believable sources in relation to O’Sheas.


  12. Jared Olar says:

    I agree, these later sources are of dubious quality as sources and hardly reliable. In this case, I’m trying to track and trace the traditions of where the TippKK group and other O’Sheas allegedly came from. I intend to discuss and take apart the traditions so we can see where they are wrong, and where they might possibly (but not provably) be right.

    At this point I’m wondering where Playfair got his information, and am wondering if Keating really claimed an Eoghanacht descent for the O’Sheas or if that was a gloss of Comerford (I suspect the latter). I wonder if there was an O’Shea family of Eoghanacht descent whose tradition was erroneously imputed to the TippKK group — or rather, that the Eoghanacht tradition was manufactured by someone who didn’t know where the TippKK came from, and who decided on the Eoghanachta as suppositious ancestors simply because the Shees lived in Munster.

  13. john kingi says:

    Helen O’shea Kingi Nz here… one of the Tip /Kil line… thankyou for all your amazing contributions..Please also refer to Cannon carrigans note re this family…we cant locate back or forth since the births of a ageneration 18201840 10 siblings..names of Robert Edmond .. history has it locally the family simply dissappeared overnight..rumour has it they may have had connections to Spain or France…

  14. Elke C says:

    I am a descendant of Ellen O’Shea and Andrew Clancy of Fethard, Tipperary c 1840 (my paternal G-Grandparents). Reading your discussions re the origins of the Shea/Shee/O’Shea via the use of yDNA has been most interesting. But being female and living in Australia I cannot test to prove any O’Shea/Shee relationship. But if one reader or participant in this forum happens also to be a descendant of this branch of this family I would love to hear from them so I can unravel a few brickwalls.

    • john kingi says:

      If you are related to the Callan Clancy family i can possibley help you.. Helen o’shea kingi NZ

    • bc says:

      Hi, I saw your post on Andrew Clancy. He was actually from Cloran Cloneen and not Fethard I believe. There is a grave in Drangan graveyard shred by a husband and wife Shea and Clancy and both families still reside in the parish.

      • Elke says:

        Hi, Thanks bc. You are right. I have since confirmed that my Andrew Clancy is from Cloran Cloneen. Fethard is listed on my grandfathers wedding certificate.as his place of birth, which made the research difficult, especially as I don’t know much about the area and the connection of the three locations of Cloran, Fethdard and Drangan. Still don’t know how or why he came to Australia when some of his siblings went to Canada. My hope is to connect with descendents of both Shea and Clancy from this area. Sadly there is no likelihood of me travelling there.

  15. Elke C says:

    I do not know names of my Ellen’s siblings. Her parents were Andrew Shea (O’Shea/Shee) born c 1815 and Bridget Fox born 1820. Further than that is my brick wall. Ellen and ThomasClancy lived in 1 Cloran Old, Cloneen, Tipperary (Yikes – I have named my GGG Andrew instead of Thomas – really should not do geneology late at night!). Their son Andrew Clancy came to Australia c 1880, but I can find no record how.

    • john kingi says:

      Helen O’shea nz here.. Will locate Richard Clancy’s contact for you..he lives in the original area in Callan ..FR Bill Clancy lives in Wanganui NZ…I think my GRT GRT GF could have been a brother of you rAndrew.Helen

    • John Kingi says:

      Hi helen O’shea Kingi here nz… would love to share with you…..the shea clancy croke line is my connection … not on line much but connect at email johnkingi@xtra.co .nz
      still struggling with direct line.

    • odonnellbriggs@netzero.net says:

      HI ,my mothers people were Clancy’s who lived down the cloran road in the townsland of claremore and they had a mill which is now in ruins on their farm.Any connection?Charles Kickham(poet and fenian) Greatgrandmother was from this Clancy(Clancey) family

  16. Jared Olar says:

    Paul McCotter said — “. . . Just to say that as a professional scholar I’ve completed a very thorough history, funded by the Irish government, of the Kerry O Sheas as well as some basic research into the Tipperary/Kilkenny people as well as one other and also unrelated sept. Apologies for this not being yet available, I’m hamstrung by others on the project finishing their pieces, after which the whole will be printed. The historical conclusion is that there were three unrelated O’Shea septs which agrees well with the yDNA results. The methodology used in this research is pristine and I spent several months working full time on this. Please take it from me that historically there is no connection whatsoever between the Tipp and Kerry O Sheas nor the third group. And I am very familiar with material from as early as 1604 claiming the existence of such a relationship. I should say that I am a leading expert with many publications on medieval Irish and especially Munster history.”

    Well, I eagerly anticipate the publication of your O’Shea history.

    In the mean time, I wonder if I might enlist your expertise regarding a synthetic or fabricated O’Shee genealogy that I have come across. Several people have incorporated it in their private online family trees at Ancestry.com, but they do not cite any sources for it, and I’m wondering where it came from. I suppose it was derived from, or was cobbled together from, one or more of the old O’Shee manuscript pedigrees dating from circa 1580 to circa 1850, but I don’t have access to those manuscripts. In tracing and tracking the development of the Tipperary/Kilkenny imaginary and semi-legendary genealogical traditions, I’d like to know when and where these genealogies first appeared.

    The synthetic O’Shee genealogy to which I refer is as follows:

    Uilliam Ó Seaghdha, born A.D. 980 in Iveragh, County Kerry, died 1040, father of —

    Riocaird Ó Seaghdha, born 1010, father of —

    Maoilleithir Ó Seaghdha, born 1050, father of two sons, Murchad Ó Seaghdha (1065-1127), and —

    Amhlaibhe Ó Seaghdha, born 1070 in Iveragh, father of —

    Sean Ó Seaghdha, born 1090 in Iveragh, father of two sons, Tadhg Ó Seaghdha, and —

    Riocaird Ó Seaghdha, born 1115 in the barony of Middlethird, County Tipperary, father of —

    Robeird Ó Seaghdha, born 1135 in Middlethird, father of —

    Oda Ó Seaghdha, born 1158 in Middlethird, . . . .


    Oda, of course, is the legendary Odanus O’Shee who supposedly was the first man in Ireland to adopt the O’Shea surname. This synthetic pedigree is unmistakeably spurious, since it shows the Anglo-Norman names of William, Richard, and Robert at a time prior to the Anglo-Norman invasion of A.D. 1169, and of course also because it claims the Tipperary/Kilkenny O’Shees originated with the O’Shees of Iveragh which we now know to be false. The historical Iveragh O’Sheas Murchad and Tadg from the Annals of Innisfallen appear to have been thrown in for good measure.

    Now, James O’Shea has observed that the TippKK legends claim that Odanus was a descendant of a Sheadh mac Cuirc purportedly living in Kerry in the eighth century. I don’t know if ‘Sheadh mac Cuirc” is a garbling of the “Era Seg mac Irchond” of the medieval Corcu Duibne pedigree or not, but be that as it may, apart from this unsourced synthetic pedigree from Ancestry.com I have not yet found any publications that purport to fill in the generations between Sheadh and Odanus.

    So then, this pedigree is clearly rubbish — but where did it come from?

  17. Oisin Breatnach says:

    A Brief reply.
    An Edmund Shee giving his genealogy in Bilbao in 1718, presented a genealogy which is attested to by various prominent clergymen of the time. It states that his family was dispossessed by Cromwell and papers burned. The genealogy given, of which I give an extract states:
    John O Shee, who presently lives in the city of Dublin, son of Robert , son of Thady, son of Robert, son of William m to Cathalina O Shee dau of Richard O Shee and the dau of Lord (??) ,son of Robert who had as his wife Juana Tobin, son of William, son of Henry son of Robert, who married the dau of O Sulivan Mor and who had sons Richard and Thady.
    Richard, eldest son, married the dau of Macarti Mor and Thady, the second son, married the dau of the Count Mc Dermott Roe.From Richard descend the O Shee of Tipperary and from Thady those of Kilkenny.
    I am translating the entire document from Castillian into English.
    Any chance of getting some remuneration for this laborious work?
    Beir bua,
    Oisin Breatnach

  18. Jared Olar says:

    A follow-up to my previous comment: Today while trawling the family trees at Ancestry.com, I managed to find a couple more legendary/synthetic O’Shea genealogies, and they extend the above synthetic genealogy for a few centuries, all the way back to Corc Duibhne, legendary ancestor and eponym of the Corcu Duibhne tribes of County Kerry. Frustratingly, the family trees once again do not cite any sources. But these two Ancestry.com family trees trace the lineage back to a SEAGHA son of CORC, and then proceed to take Corc’s genealogy back to Corc Duibhne, legendary/mythical son of Cairbre Musc, son of Conaire the High-King. This SEAGHA son of CORC is, of course, the legendary SHEADH mac CUIRC, purportedly born circa 730 A.D. in Kerry, whom James O’Shea mentions in his O’Shea clan history — and one of these Ancestry.com family trees even says Seagha was born circa 730 (while the other one, providing a different set of estimated dates of birth for this genealogy, says Seagha was born circa 600).

    These two versions of the O’Shea genealogy are very similar, and I must assume that the 16th century MS 2153 in the National Library of Ireland, which I have not yet seen, is ultimately one of the sources behind this genealogy.

    For ease of comparison, I’ll present the different versions of this synthetic genealogy in the basic format of a medieval Gaelic genealogy (but I won’t attempt to use Gaelic genetive forms of names, since I don’t know Gaelic — if you encounter a Gaelic genetive belw, it’s because that’s how the name happened to be spelled in the Ancestry.com family tree), starting with the one that I presented in my previous comment above:

    Oda m. Robeird m. Riocaird m. Sean m. Amhlaibhe m. Maoilleithir m. Riocaird m. Uilliam

    Odanus (or “Eodan”) m. Richard m. Robert John m. Amlaidhe m. William Robert m. Richard Og m. Richard Mor m. William m. Floinn m. Olchobar m. Seagha m. Corc m. Cormac m. Failbhe m. Ciaran m. Broghain m. Floinn m. Feargus m. Olchobar m. Seagha m. Conchobhar m. Corc Duibhne m. Cairbre Musc m. Conaire

    Odanus m. . . . . [essentially the same series of names as above] m. William m. Floinn m. Olchobhair m. Seagha m. Corc m. Cormac m. Failbhe m. Ciaran m. Brodain m. Floinn m. Feargus m. Olchobar m. Seagha m. Dubdabarcus m. Gergimus m. Feargus m. Nudinus m. Torcanus m. Cormac Fionn m. Corc Dubh Musc m. Cairbe Musc m. Conaire

    My immediate observation is that these latter two genealogies show affinity to the Corcu Duibhne genealogies from the Book of Leinster. Most significantly, this series of names —

    Nudinus m. Torcanus m. Cormac Fionn m. Corc Dubh Musc m. Cairbe Musc m. Conaire

    — lines up perfectly with the Book of Leinster’s Ui Failbhe (O’Falvey) and Ui Congaile (O’Connell) genealogies, which traces those clans back to a certain:

    Nuden m. Irchond m. Cormac Find m. Corc Duibhne (or Corc Dubhfind) m. Cairbre Musc m. Conaire

    In addition, I note that the Olchobhar, Failbhe, and Floinn appear in both of these O’Shea genealogies as well as the Book of Leinster O’Falvey/O’Connell genealogies. However, the Book of Leinster does not mention any Feargus among the sons of Irchond (“Torcanus”) nor does it trace any O’Shea line of descent, but instead traces a descent from Irchond’s youngest son Era Seg — a descent which appears to represent the Ui Segda:

    Tadc m. Echthigern m. Ciarican m. Nechtan m. Rechtabrad m. Tuadgaile m. Nere m. Thacan m. Enna m. Echach m. Gaine m. Era Seg m. Irchond m. Cormac Find m. Corc Duibhne m. Cairbre Musc m. Conaire

    Curiously, while the Book of Leinster specifically identifies the O’Falvey/O’Connell genealogy as such, it does not identify the line of descent which it traces from Era Seg. However, since we know the Ui Segda were the third Corcu Duibhne clan, it would appear that Era Seg was the Segha or Seaghdha from whom the O’Sheas of Kerry derived their name.

    My guess, then, is that this synthetic pedigree in its various forms was concocted by a person or persons who were familiar with *some* of the genealogical traditions of the Corcu Duibhne, but who did not know of the Book of Leinster’s pedigree of Era Seg’s descendants. Knowing that the O’Sheas of Kerry claimed descent from Corc Duibhne, the inventor of this pedigree purports to show that descent — with the intention of taking the O’Shees of Tipperary/Kilkenny back to the Corcu Duibhne O’Sheas, a descent which DNA has shown to be false.

    So then, while I’m pleased to have a better idea of the shape and form of these fabricated genealogies, I still would like very much to know the old or not so old sources from which they derive.

  19. helen o'shea kingi says:

    Thank you all for your amazing contributions and research..in my confusion can i please add that on my gt gf death cert was bracketed Edmund Shea born 1829 {shethe] Kilkenny .. He married Johanna Sullivan Mor of laherne Kerry…Father was John mother i believe Cahill…

  20. Dan says:

    This may help you all out; pedigrees are more about what people perceive of as origins, than exact origins, in and of themselves. The math of it all problem ties the Shees and Sheas together at some point.

  21. Oisin Breatnach says:

    I am more and more of the opinion that O Shea and O Shee are distinct families. The resemblance in the surnames could be the same as that of O Broin and O Brian-families that we know to be distinct also. Beir bua, Oisin Breatnach.
    p.s. Could Od
    anus be a latinisation of Aodán?

  22. James O'Shea says:

    Unfortunately most of our readership are not Spanish linguists. Any chance of an English version?

  23. paula richardson (nee clancy) says:

    I came across this site by chance. I am a Clancy of Cloran an if you need help

  24. jamesjoeoshea says:

    Thanks for your offer. I composed the article quite a while ago and have no immediate intention of revisiting.
    James O’Shea

  25. jamesjoeoshea says:

    Anthony. I have downloaded your work and look forward to reading it. I’ll let you have my comments in due course. Thanks for your kind words.

  26. Gracias Juan Sardina por su correo. Tengo el expediente de ese Juan Jose, gracias. Cual es su interes en los O Shee por si le puedo ayudar? Un abrazo, Obreatnach@hotmail.com

    • oshea says:

      Oisin, does your post translate to something like “Thanks Juan Sardina for your email. I have Juan Jose’s record, thanks. What is your interest in the O Shee and can you help?” I used Google translator.

      Regards, Margaret Jordan

  27. Dia Dhuit,
    Yes Margaret,except for the can you help bit. I asked if I could help him in return.
    It was a personal reply to Juan Sardina. Best regards, Oisin Breatnach

  28. Juan Sardina says:

    Hello. Thanks for the prompt response. I have a distant cousin who happens to be a descendant of Edmund, and he has been interested in finding more about these families and their history. He managed to get a copy of the Spanish papers, but we are wondering if Juan Jose’s papers are exactly the same as Edmundo’s or if there is some additional information we haven’t seen. What we have is a transcription made a few years ago. Unfortunately, it doesn’t provide enough information to be able to link that line of Shees from Tipperary to the better known line from Kilkenny. It does mention some names, but all without dates, except for an uncle named John Shea, but the place seems to be “Roim” or maybe “Roun.” Is there such a village or town? I saw the other day on a book about the O’Meaghers there was a line descending from a certain place, and whose descendants included on John Shea, apparently from Roun. The copy of the Shee papers I have seen also mentions how the they helped the local monks from the monastery with alms and food, but it does say where exactly. Was it at Fethard? It appears the papers translate at least two sets of documents, one of them in Latin, and one seems to be from soon after Cromwell. But what became of the original documents? Just curious, Juan

  29. HI,
    I will answer in more detail soon.
    Roim is meant to be Tuam I am almost sure.There are many mis spellings of Irish placenames in documents, which depended on the accuracy, hearing and sometimes laziness of the scribe!

    I am not sure what are Juan Jose’s papers that you refer to?!
    Look at previous messages re the genealogy I have given* of Edmundo´s Shee family in the document.
    Best regards, Oisin Breatnach

    *John O Shee, who presently lives in the city of Dublin, son of Robert , son of Thady, son of Robert, son of William m to Cathalina O Shee dau of Richard O Shee and the dau of Lord (??) ,son of Robert who had as his wife Juana Tobin, son of William, son of Henry son of Robert, who married the dau of O Sulivan Mor and who had sons Richard and Thady.
    Richard, eldest son, married the dau of Macarti Mor and Thady, the second son, married the dau of the Count Mc Dermott Roe.From Richard descend the O Shee of Tipperary and from Thady those of Kilkenny.

  30. Juan Sardina says:

    Greetings, Thanks again for the prompt response. Yes. This sounds like a genealogy of John Shee, who is said to have been Edmund’s uncle. Looking at the transcription we got from a third cousin (i don’t know how he obtained this copy), I see that in this particular version the exact names of the women are not given. Only names of the most of the O’Shees are given. The pages in question are themselves from a translation of a document given in 1718 at Kilkenny by the prelates you mention in another place. In any case, I wonder what exactly the original said. I am assuming it was in Latin. The version I have seen starts with William O’Shee who married a daughter of the “Lord Count of Power.” This William is said to be one of Edmund’s great-grandfathers. It then mentions Robert, married a daughter of Lord (Sr in Spanish) Tobin of Quinvanagh (which it should be Cumsinagh). Then another Richard, married to a daughter of the Lords Maccarrhy More. Then another Robert, who married into the house of O’Sullivan More, and then it mentions William, who married a daughter of the rich and powerful Lord O’Shee, Lord of Clorham. Finally, the document mentions two more ancestors, who married the daughters of the Lords O’Meagher and Comorford, without giving names. Unfortunately, no genealogy is attached, and no dates are mentioned. It sounds very similar to the genealogy you found for John in the documents. I am wondering if we are looking at two different translations of the same document. Also unfortunately, i haven’t been able to confirm any of these marriages in the 15, 16 or 17th centuries. I suppose the Lords Count of Power (the only ones given with the title of Count) would be one of the lines of de la Poer, but I haven’t seen anywhere any indication that any of the daughters of the few counts or lords of Currahgmore married any O’Shee. I have seen some marriages between O’Shee and Comerford, but those are too late for this genealogy. Any ideas?
    In respect to Juan Jose, I have seen some mention that promoted an “expediente” which contains copies of the documents presented by his father Edmond some years before. I suppose this second file might be at Valladolid or Simancas, but the AER doesn’t show it. It is possible the other son of Edmond brought some family papers to Chile, but we don’t know for sure. I will continue looking around. How hard is it to obtain photocopies from the archives at Bilbao?
    Until soon, Juan

  31. Oisin Breatnach says:

    Hello again Juan,
    I will respond soon in a more careful manner as quick messages are often full of mistakes.
    I think that my earlier statement that Roim was Tuam is possibly wrong. In another document in files here a Ruan referred to Tuam and I was thinking of that when I answered.
    Roim might very well be TRim, Co Meath (Troim in Irish I think), but I will let you know a more educated guess soon. best regards, Oisín Breatnach

  32. Juan Sardina says:

    Hello, Yes. the exact town where the grand-parents of Edmond Shee lived, seems to be hard to find for many reason, one of them being the difficulty of reading the documents and another one the translation involved in creating them, and possible transcriber errors. The papers from Bilbao mention the declarations made there in person by Father Raymond Fahi, said he had personal communication back in Ireland, when he lived there, with D. Juan O’Shee, at the village of Roim in questions. He also mentions John Shee was considered to be noble in that village and county. Unfortunately, it does mention the county by name. Father Fahi said he had left Ireland 23 years more or less before 1720. Then there is a part the modern transcriber says its illegible. It happens to mention the Shee family had been of ….until the year 1651 and even after. Some lines later the witness mentions his own father Malachias Fahy, who died more than 11 before (1720), and others, who knew the Shees when they lived in Ireland, and specially in Clorer where the witness was born. Would that Clorer be Cloran? The whole paragraph seems to say the Shees lived in the same town as the witness and as his father.

  33. Hello Juan Sardina,
    Can you please write to my email address?
    Cloghran is in Co Tipperary. (Richard, eldest son m to Macarti Mor and ancestor of Tipperary O Shee a quo Richardo Shee de Maneris Dranghane et Cloghrane in Com Tipperaria oritur;)

    Cumpshinagh/Cumpsinagh/Cumshinagh/Cumsinagh/Kimsinagh Kinsanagh/Compsey/ Cumsy is also in County Tipperary.Robert Shees wife, Elena or Helen Meagher came from there.. O Meachair/Maher/Meagher territory was near Roscrea, at the foot of the famous Devil’s Bit Mountain and , unlike some Gaelic septs, they were not ousted by Norman invaders but remained in possession side by side with the Ormond Butlers. Though this is a genuine Gaelic O name it is rarely, if ever, met with in its English form with the prefix.
    (Dranganshee is also in Co Tipperary.)

    Re Fahy the following is gleaned from various ´expedientes´in Bilbao:
    Fr Raymond Fahy, nat of Cloen Co Galway, (b abt 1663- age stated as 58 in 1721 -age 63 in 1726 , age 70 in 1733)–Of the Dominican order of preachers, in the hospice of the calzadas de Begonia, of Bilbao -Malachy Fahy of Cloen his father ´who died 26 yrs ago aged 86 (b abt 1663)´and also mentions Dionisio Fahy, died 36 yrs ago aged 80 ( born abt 1653 ).
    Am still trying to make out where ´Roim´ is but will nail it down soon.

    Beir bua, Oisin Breatnach

  34. There are many headlands in Co Galway that start with cloon (cluain in Irish). There are only three that have only the cloon/Clorn of spanish pronunciation), namely
    Cloon 353 Kiltartan Kilbeacanty Gort
    Cloon 342 Ballynahinch Ballynakill Clifden
    Cloon 94 Ballynahinch Omey Clifden.
    see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_townlands_of_County_Galway.

    p.s. There are a Cloonagh and Cloonee in Tuam (and many more that start with Cloon)and this might connect with t ROIM being Tuam as I firdt mentioned! Ha!

  35. Juan Sardina says:

    Hello, This is very interesting…The Raymond Fahy who servers as a witness and possibly translator must be the one you mention, and he said he had met John Shee and he also says he knew the Shees. Raymond’s father also knew the Shees and their house according to the Raymond. It seems they lived at least for some years in the same town as John Shee. It is too bad we can’t see exactly what the name is, but it is something that someone who knows Spanish but not Gaelic or possibly English would write as Cloran (or something like that). That is what the modern transcriber wrote. It is not the same spelling as the one used in the other document when it says one of Edmond’s forebears married the daughter of the power Lord O’Shee, his cousin. Maybe they were all in Galway County having Cromwell, having been deported there from Tipperary. Raymond also declared the Shees despite having lost almost all their possessions continued being Catholics after Cromwell, and their descendants too. It is general statement but I wonder if it means the ones left back in Tipperary or the ones transplanted to Gallway. Something else, the son of Edmond who went to Chile married a descendant of the O’Fallon family, but I don’t remember right now where that line came from. It might be a coincidence or not. Juan

  36. List of townlands of County Galway. From Wikipedia … Aggard More, 333, Dunkellin, Killora, Loughrea. Aghafadda …… Cloran, 431, Athenry, Athenry, Loughrea.

  37. Hello Juan, Some more here-write me an email.
    Josefa O’Falon y Cárcamo,
    natural de la provincia de Chiloé,
    Father: Thomas O’Fallon
    Thomas O’Fallon also arrived during this time, travelling from Ireland to Spain and thence to Chile. In Castro, he married a woman with the surname Cárcamo, of a family of landowners. They had at least one daughter, Josefa O’Fallon, who married Tomás Valentín O’Shee y Ramery. His father Edmund had been born in Dublin to a family whom the war and the Penal Laws had destroyed. Like many others, he had fled to Spain and wished to naturalise there, having provided proof of his nobility in 1721. The document states that ‘there is no need for proof in the Kingdom of Ireland, as it is widely known that the reign of Henry VIII and the heresy in the kingdom, the rigour of established laws and the persecution of the natives who by Divine Mercy remain in the sway and obedience of the Holy Roman Church, disloyally prohibit the sacred baptism, faith, sacraments, marriages and any legal proof of Catholic acts. He shows himself to be a true Catholic as his forebears were. The witnesses and documents presented here prove that the applicant is noble. There are houses and lands in Ireland that bear his name.’
    In Spain, Don Edmundo married Ana Catalina Ramery, related to María Luisa Esterripa y Ramery, wife of Luis Muñoz de Guzmán, the Santiago-born governor of Quito and later of Chile.
    Mother: …Cárcamo
    Spouse: Birth: 16 Dec 1724
    Christening: 17 DEC 1724 Basilica Del Senor Santiago, Bilbao, Vizcaya, Spain
    Bapt por D. Francisco de la Torre, Pbo. Teniente de esta Parroquia. Fueron padrinos Juan José O’Shee y Ramery (hermano mayor) y Teresa de Chiru, …
    Death: La Serena on 19 January 1801.
    Father: Edmundo Shee
    Mother:Ana Cathalina Rameri

  38. Marc O'Shea says:

    This is absolutely fascinating and incredibly informative. I am an O’Shea from Belfast but my father’s family are from county Fermanagh. My uncle recently told me that my great Grandfather was originally a Shee, but changed his name in 1923 because he was an anti treaty republican and as such was wanted by both the newly created free state and Northern Ireland. Does anyone have any information on this or where I can find more? Unfortunately my grand parents have passed away and the family knowledge is sketchy to say the least.
    Go raibh maith agat

  39. Hi Mark, I am unclear as to what you want help with. Please specify and I will see what I can do. Fáilte romahat, Oisín Breatnach

  40. Marc O'Shea says:

    Thanks for getting back to me Oisin, sorry I was a bit vague. I saw the Shee/O’Shea thread and it appeals directly to me as I’m an O’Shea but recently I learnt that my great Grandfather changed his name in 1923 from Shee to O’Shea. I’m interested in learning more about any Shee or O’Shea history from county Fermanagh. I know there is a concentration of O’Sheas in that particular part of the North but it’s not a common name anywhere else in the 6 counties that I can find.
    Go raibh maith agat a chara

    • oshea says:

      Hi Marc,

      You could join the O’Shea yDNA Project by doing a yDNA (y-chromosome DNA) test. I would recommend a 67 marker test. This would let you know whether your paternal line is Shee or Shea etc.

      Margaret Jordan
      Admin O’Shea yDNA Project

  41. Hi Marc,
    You state:my great Grandfather changed his name in 1923 from Shee to O’Shea.Where was your great grandfather from and did he come to Fermanagh from somewhere else as one might think if he was being sought in his usual haunts?! I presume he was in his twenties when he did this and was on the run.
    The two ways to find the info are through the paternal and the maternal lines. Note: O Shea and O Shee are two seperate surnames (in my opinion)although they are often mixed together and indeed some of both families have changed the spelling for various reasons.
    How far back can you go? What was your grandfathers name …and your fathers?Make a file for each-name, occupation, address, d.o.b. and place, date of death and place, spouse, same details for her, children and for each of those another file.
    Where in Fermanagh was he based-some indication as to years…e.g. Allow 25 yrs from birth to marriage of each. So if you are 35 yrs old, your father probably married sometime around 1980 and was born circa 1955-his father sometime around 1925, marrying in the early sixties. Your great grandfather would then have been born circa 1900 etc etc…Its meticulous and painstaking work. Work backwards and also forwards and try to link both. Not easy at all a chara, and calls for meticulous work…but brings results.
    Beir bua, Oisín

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