McShane Family History
The family history of the ancient name McShane was found in the irishsurnames.com archives. The name McShane in Ireland is the equivalent of Johnson, both names literally meaning 'son of John'. This name is often of Scottish descent spreading to Ireland, England and Wales in early times and is found in many mediaeval manuscripts throughout the above countries. Examples of such are an Alexander Johnson, of Aberdeen, Scotland, who received letters of denisation in England in the year 1480 and a Nicholas Johnson who was a Burgess of Ayr, Scotland, in the year 1503. In Ireland the name is popular in Ulster having been introduced there from Scotland Centuries ago. In Ulster and in County Louth the McShanes were a branch of the O'Neills. The County Westmeath family of McShane were a branch of the O'Farrells. In County Kerry McShane was assumed by some families of Fitzmaurice, but the name is rarely found there in modern times, being mostly found in Ulster and in County Dublin.
The McShane family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including McShane descendants.