Gwendolyn Kay (Alloway) Shields

Wayne LeRoy Shields

The Strange Alloway Family

Wayne and I are working on our Family Tree's.    So I will put some information here about our families..just in case you are working on the same ones.  We would be happy to exchange information with you if you are working on the same families.

Our Shields line begins in Ireland, but those beginnings are rather vague as to our connected family line until about 1600. During the Middle Ages, the name in Gaelic or Irish was Siadhail, translated from the Latin "Sedulius," when only given names were used.

The O'Siadhails were descendants of "Niall of the Nine Hostages," who was also the progenitor of the O'Neills, a large and prominent clan, or sept, in ancient Ireland, and more specifically from a member of that clan, named Siadhail--translated to Shiel.  The prefix "O" originally meant "son of" and later  "descendant of" a certain person, thus O'Neills were descendants of Niall of the Nine Hostages; O'Siadhails, or O'Shiels, descendants of Siadhail, a member of that clan.  The surname was O'Shiel until the English invaded Ireland, and disallowed the Irish 'O' prefixes to surnames; some Irish O'Shiels became simply Shiel while others took on the more English sounding name Shields.  When, many
years later, the Irish were permitted to use the 'O' prefix, some families reverted to the old way, and others stayed with the one they had been using for generations.  At present,
in Ireland and America, are the O'Shiels and Shieldses, all descendants of the early O'Siadhail.  Members of the O'Siadhail family later used the names O'Sheil and O'Shiel, or anglicized it to Shiel, Sheil, Sheilds, Shield, and Shields.

General James Shields


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