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SHIELS Family History

This interesting Irish name originates in Ulster. The Gaelic form is O'Siadhail usually Anglicized in its present form, or as Shiel, Sheils, Shields and Sheilds, although claiming descent from Niall of the Nine Hostages, the O' Shiels were known as a family of hereditary physicians rather that a territorial sept. The notable members of this Clan through the ages were involved in Catholic Emancipation e.g., Richard Lalor Sheil (1791 - 1851) was founder of the Catholic Association. More recently, the name is associated with the stage in particular the Abbey Theatre, Dublin e.g., George Shiels, Playwright and William Shiels, better known as Barry Fitzgerald, (actor).

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