The Shine family of Ireland

Shanagolden Duncaha Glin Nantinan Kilfergus Rathkeale Athea


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5bl.jpg (939 bytes) Shine Surname in Ireland     5bl.jpg (939 bytes) Newspapers 1756-1827
5bl.jpg (815 bytes) Shine entries from English BDMs (free) 5bl.jpg (939 bytes) Immigration to Victoria 1852-1879  
5bl.jpg (815 bytes) Miscellaneous information from Mail Lists 5bl.jpg (815 bytes) Limerick Links
5bl.jpg (815 bytes) Miscellaneous items, links, trees  5bl.jpg (815 bytes) Connaught Journal
5bl.jpg (815 bytes) The Parish of Shanagolden (not activated)

It is hoped that Shine family researchers will contribute to this home page so that we can all share our research and resources—as it is only by the process of elimination that we will unravel connections of this small family clan. 

Over the past twenty years I have collected a large amount of data.   Recently, via the Internet, I made contact with Donna Shine of USA and Tony Shine of Dublin and the idea of a Shine database project was born.

We have been actively collecting material for the database and have now decided that a home page is necessary so that we can share the information and hopefully get your participation in the project.

We will be gradually adding material to the home page.  Contributors will be acknowledged and a link to your home page added.   Please share.

Kate Press. Melbourne

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The 'Shine' Surname in Ireland

The surname "Shine" is Irish, there is also, I believe, a similar Welsh name.

In Irish or Gaelic the name probably means "small" and probably has a similar origin to the English name "small", referring to physical size. I say probably because those who have studied genealogy and the older forms of Gaelic from which the name came have never been able to decide for definite what the name means. "Small" is best and most educated guess.

The name originated in the South west of Ireland along the borders of counties Cork, Kerry and Limerick. Near the small town of Rathmore, just west of the Co. Cork boundary is a cross-roads called "Shinagh Cross". Some thirty years or more ago a local school teacher from the area wrote that the local tradition was that the Shine name originated here. The Gaelic form of the name "O Seighin" or "O Sighin" is remarkably close in spelling and in sound to the word ‘Shinagh’, though to confuse matters a little the Irish word for a fox "sionnach" is also quite close in sound to the word "Shinagh". Given that the earliest recorded instances of the name come from around this general area there is good reasons for believing that there is a close link between the name Shine and Shinnagh Cross.

The name is first found in written form in eighteenth century documents, mainly in the estate papers of the Earls of Kenmare who were very substantial landowners and landlords in Kerry.

Two names in particular stand out, a Denis Shine who for the years, 1780-1784, is shown as paying £50 rent per year for property at Islandearhig ( I’m not quite sure where this place is). Renting a property of that size meant that he was reasonably wealthy and it is quite likely that he was a sub-landlord who would have rented on some of this land to tenants.

In Nohoval graveyard, again near Rathmore there is a headstone with this inscription

Here lies Thade Shine who departed this life on the 11th August 1776, aged 58 years.

The English form of Thade is Tim and this Tim Shine’s names appears as a witness in several leases involving the Cronin family. Such a headstone and prominent name suggests again somebody of some wealth and influence.

The name Shine was also connected to Mountinfant and along with Knocklivane the family had a lease of Knockavoreen, Knockenhaunig, and Knockdullane in the parish of Kilmeen. These places are not a great distance away from Rathmore - Shinagh Cross area. Knock- in Gaelic or Irish always means a hill.

Eventually either a son or grandson of this Thade Shine married Ellen Lawlor of Killarney and they had a son, Denis Shine - Lawlor. The headstone- tomb referred to above was apparently known as the Shine-Lawlor tomb around Nohoval until fairly recently. There are several references to mortgage arrangements involving this Shine-Lawlor family right down to 1852 when Denis Shine is shown as the immediate lessor of Nohoval (daly).

Only the names of well to do people appeared in wills, leases and other financial settlements in the eighteenth and nineteenth century so we are talking about relatively wealthy people in all of this.

1836. In an indented deed of assignment between Mary Anne Shine, Ursuline Convent, Cork and Denis Shine - Lawlor Mary Anne Shine assigned to Denis Shine - Lawlor (father or brother ) sums of money to which she should be entitled and chargeable on lands at Nohoval subject to a proportion of yearly rent being paid to her (or her convent). This may well refer back to the second last paragraph.

The last reference to this branch of the Shine family occurs in 1840 in an indented deed where Ellen Shine (nee Lawlor) the adminastrix of the estate of Denis Shine, Denis Shine Lawlor, eldest son, and Martin Shine only other son of Denis Shine assigned unto John Leahy, John S. Lawlor and F. Muddleston that part of Nohoval called Knocklevan (199 acres) for 998 years. My interpretation of this is that the Shine - Lawlor family were falling on hard times and were basically selling off lands to either pay debts or to provide for some financial settlements for the family.

It may well be that there is some remote family link between these Shines and the people we are now interested in. 1780-1840 was a time of enormous population growth in Ireland. People got married at an early age and had large families. Emigration among the Catholic population had not yet started to any extent and as there was little or no industrial work these families relied on farming for a livelihood. Farms were of course rented but there was a system of continuous sub division of farms among family members which, in a matter of three or four generations, turned substantial farms into not much more than garden plots which grew sufficient potatoes to sustain a family. Another generation again would see members of such a family turned into migrant labourers. Along the way also some of the earlier generations would have been sufficiently enterprising to get out of the subdivision cycle and either rent more substantial farms or move into towns and become tradesmen etc. This is my explanation of how over the course of that fifty or seventy years a family name like Shine dispersed into three counties, some even going further a field."

Tony Shine, Dublin
"Tony Shine" <>


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Re the Origins of the Name

A letter from Caoimhin O Seighin   New3.gif (26402 bytes)

Dear Kate,

1 chanced to be on the Internet the other day. Not being a net user, 1 typed in my surname ‘O Seighin’ along the lines of what one does with a new pen and hey presto up came your home page for the ‘Shine Family of Ireland’.

As you do say ‘please share’ here's my little contribution on the surname ‘Shine’.

O Seighin is an Irish surname. Seighin is an old Irish personal (first) name as witnessed by a number of Irish Saints of that name. St Seighin of Cill Seighin has his feast day on 21 January. A St Seighin was abbot of Iona from 623-652 A.D. and founded the church on Rathlin Island. His feast day is 24 August and the list goes on.

The meaning of Seighin seems inconclusive. As you're probably aware, of those Irish surname authorities, Woulfe stated it meant wild ox but MacLysaght disagreed and suggested that it probably comes from old-Irish ‘seigene’ — small hawk. Tony Shine's suggestion that ‘small’ is the best and most educated guess would therefore be a little out in left field, unless he has some more erudite authority than Woulfe and MacLysaght.

1 was also a little surprised at the suggestion that there is some link between Shin(n)agh Cross and the name Shine or that the Shine name originated there.

1 thought it was fairly well-known that Irish surnames were formed from about the 10th to the 14th century by the addition of ‘O’ meaning grandson or descendant and an ancestor’s personal name. Hence O Seighin. Just who the eponymous ancestor Seighin was who gave his first name to start the sept rolling 1 have no idea. That would be a point of interest!

The account of Shine deriving from ‘Shinagh’s cross’ sounds a little apocryphal for the following reasons;

1. Shinagh or Shinnagh is a distinct surname from Shine. Shinagh is anglicised from Sionnach and Shine from O Seighin.

2. O Seighin and Sionnach are not to an Irish speaker particularly close in spelling or sound, although there is obviously superficial resemblance in some of the English versions; the superficiality being somewhat enhanced when one recalls that other anglicised variants of Sionnach are (besides Shinnagh) Shunagh and Shunny which draw out the difference in pronunciation a bit more.

3. No great feat of the imagination is required to see that a family called Shinagh lived at the cross-roads and thereby gave their surname to that locality. Ireland is full of crosses named after individual's or families (i.e. Barry's cross etc).

4. Irish surnames are not (with a few rare exceptions) locative (formed from placenames) like many English surnames. To quote from MacLysaght ‘neither Mac nor O is found in Irish Surnames formed from places’. They are in the main based on an ancestor's personal name.

That is not to suggest that no one called Shine ever lived in the vicinity of Shinagh Cross, because it's fairly apparent that the earliest recorded instances of ‘'Shine’ do come from the area in which Shinagh’s Cross is located. That is because the name O Seighin is found in the South West (i.e. Cork, Kerry and Limerick). But to say that the name ‘Shine’ is first found in written form in the 18th century, while correct for this Anglicisation, is to ignore the family history of this sept who bear the surname O Seighin or any of the anglicised variants. The surname ‘Shine’ didn't arise phoenix like in the mid-eighteenth century and then over a course of 50 or 70 years spread throughout the South West.

The surname ‘Shine’ is simply an Anglicisation of an Irish surname ‘O Seighin’. O Seighin is not the Irish/Gaelic version of Shine. It is not a case of which came first, the chicken or the egg. Other anglicised versions include O’Sheine, O’'Shine O’Sheyne, O’Shyne, Shinn and of course various other permutations with and without the ‘O’. It has been suggested that O hEidhin (anglicised inter alia as O’Heyne) was also anglicised Shine, maybe because Ni Sheighin (the female form of O Seighin) does sound similar in Irish to Ni hEidhin. No doubt a check of French and Spanish records would reveal French and Spanish versions of O Seighin from the wild geese and other emigrants of the sixteenth and seventeenth century to continental Europe.

In 1573 according to Mary Hickson in her Selections from Old Kerry Records' (1874) a Morish O’Shieghan accompanied the Earl of Desmond through Tipperary, Limerick and Kerry. In 1578 Dermot Og 1 Sheine was one of those pardoned in Munster. In 1642 Teige O Sheyne was one of those indicted for treason in Co Cork. These early references all come from English sources and (in the scarcity of native Irish records) they show all the variance of the English (language) officials coming to grips (or refusing to do so) with Irish nomenclature. But that could be a treatise in itself O Seighin was as Mac Lysaght notes a surname ‘which suffered severely in the process of Anglicisation’.

The Newspaper references to ‘Shine’ are very interesting but of course reflect the activities of a minority in social status and relative urban locality. Rural and Irish speaking families (the majority in pre-famine 1840’s western Ireland) would not appear there. If you’re looking for ‘famous’ Shines what about Mary Shine who sponsored Eamon de Valera at his christening in Manhattan in 1882 and John Shine the Fenian of the 60th Rifles transported to Western Australia. However , if you take the view as you state ‘to unravel the connections of this small family clan’ who probably descend from one common ancestor somewhere between the 10th and 14th century, 1 wish you good luck as the descendants and relatives (like all native Irish groupings) are spread all over the world. Certainly up until the eighteenth century they didn't answer to Shine. Certainly in non-English speaking areas such as the Argentine, France and Spain they wouldn’t today. And not all do so in Ireland itself today — of the ‘famous’ there is Michael O Seighin the sean-nos singer and Maire Ni Sheighin in Dun an Run (1 think as I'm not a big ‘soapie’ fan either), and there’s even a few ordinary types.

Sorry if this is all a bit long winded and diatribe like. I'm no expert and the above are simply my gleanings. 1 was pleased to see your homepage. Most articles etc that 1 have ever seen on Irish Surnames tend to get hung up on the ‘big’ names like O Neill and O Briain and its good to see the smaller ones with a bit of a go. 1 might even access the Internet a bit more on my travels and see how it goes.

All the best, Slan go foill,
Caoimhin O Seighin


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Unfortunately Caoimhin O Seighin did not include a return address so I was unable to thanks him for his input -- but I have included it as I feel it is a valuable contribution.

Kate Press


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Shine references Collected from Newspapers 1756 - 1827
Source: Rosemary Ffolliott's Biographical Notices ©


List of Abbreviations

CA Cork Advertiser
Published thrice weekly in Cork on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday

CC Cork Chronicle
Published twice weekly in Cork on Monday and Thursday

CEP Cork Evening Post
Published twice weekly in Cork on Monday and Thursday

CG Cork Gazette
Published twice weekly in Cork on Wednesday and Saturday

CJ Corke Journal
Published twice weekly in Cork on Monday and Thursday

CMC  Cork Mercantile Chronicle
Published thrice weekly in Cork on Monday, Wednesday and Friday

CMI Cork Morning Intelligence
Published thrice weekly in Cork on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday

DG  Dublin Gazette
Published in Dublin

DHJ  Dublin Hibernian Journal
Published thrice weekly in Dublin on Monday, Wednesday and Friday

FDJ  Faulkner's Dublin Journal
During the 18th century published twice weekly in Dublin on Tuesday and Saturday

FJ  Freeman's Journal
During the 18th century published twice weekly in Dublin on Tuesday and Saturday

FLJ  Finn's Leinster Journal
Published twice weekly in Kilkenny on Wednesday and Saturday

HC  Hibernian Chronicle (Cork)
Published twice weekly in Cork on Monday and Thursday

LC  Limerick Chronicle
Published twice weekly in Limerick on Monday and Thursday

M of M Magazine of Magazines
Published in Limerick at the end of each month

MJ Munster Journal

SR Southern Reporter (Cork)
First published twice weekly in Cork on Wednesday and Saturday, and later published thrice weekly on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday

TC The Constitution (Cork)
Published thrice weekly in Cork, first on Monday, Wednesday and Friday then on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, and later on Tuesday Thursday and Saturday

VJ Volunteer Journal
Published twice weekly in Cork

WM Waterford Mirror
Published twice weekly in Waterford

Collected from Newspapers 1756 - 1827

CA Tu 30 Jne 1807

by the Rev. Mr Murphy, Mr Eugene Sullivan to Miss Anne Shine both of this city

SR Tu 16 Ja 1827

on Monday at Carrigan co Kerry near Abeyfeale the Rev. Bartholomew Shine, for the last 22 years parish priest of Brosne

CJ 16 Mch 1761

Advertisement: Whereas Catherine Howran otherwise Shyne wife of Edmond Howran of Kilcudane, parish of Castletown and co of Kerry hath eloped…Dated 7 Jan 1761

CMC M 1 Feb 1808

yesterday morning Mrs Shine wife of Mr Cornelius Shine

HC Th 31 Aug 1797

died last Tuesday in Rutland street Mr Denis Shine shipwright

CEP Th 31 Aug 1797

died last Tuesday in Rutland street Mr Denis Shine shipwright

CMC M 15 Mch 1813

on Saturday last in Patrick street, Mr Daniel Shine late of the Island of Guadaloupe…a young man

HC M 2 Jne 1783

last Saturday Mr Dennis Shine of Shinagh to Miss Barrett of Castle street…1500 pounds

CEP Th 17 Jly 1794

yesterday Dennis Shine of Mount Infant co Kerry Esq to Miss Shee dau of the late Mr John Shee of Larney Lane

CEP Th 23 Aug 1798

died last Friday at Killarney, Denis Shine of Mount Infant Esq

CA S 31 Jan 1807

on Wednesday night at Killarney, Denis Shine Esq to Miss Lawlor only dau of Martin Lawlor Esq of said place

CMC M 1 Dec 1806

Saturday morning in Patrick street, Mrs Hester Shine relict of the late Dennis Shine Esq

SR S 11 Feb 1826

on Monday at Cove by the Rev. Mr. Croke, Jeremiah Shine Esq of Ballymacrease, co Limerick to Mary Anne youngest dau of the late Jonathan Honan Esq of Limerick

(I have some more info on the above family —if I can lay my hands on it!)

TC M 1 Mch 1824

in Charleville on the 24th ult by the Rev. John Barry, Mr. John Shine woollen draper to Miss Mary Ann Kirby

TC Th 7 July 1825

at his father's house in Bandon on Saturday last aged 19 years, Mr. John Shine

DHJ W 20 Nov 1771

married at Corke a few days ago Mr Robert Dudley clothier aged 36 to the widow Shine aged 84

CEP M 4 Feb 1799

Saturday, Mr Matt Keleher of the North Main street to Miss Shine, dau of Mr Daniel Shine of Morrison's Island…1000 pounds

CMC W 13 Apl 1808

in Maylor street on Sunday last in the prime of life Miss Shine dau of the late Mr Denis Shine of this city shipwright

HC Th 8 Aug 1776

last Tuesday at Shinagh near Mill-street, Mr Thadee Shine

SR S 24 No 1827

on Saturday last Timothy Shine of Curribally in the co of Cork Esq to Anne 3rd dau of Thomas O'Halloran of Killocrin Esq.

CMI S 13 Jly 1822

Saturday last at Newcastle, co Limerick, Sergeant Major William Shine, 1st Battalion Rifle Brigade


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On Friday evening at Ballymacrease, in the County of Limerick, after a short illness, aged 78, Roger Shine Esq.
Freeman's Journal, Wed., Nov. 17th, 1824.

"Declan Barron" <> is researching the Hickman, Rose and Pratt families and sent the following information by e-mail on 1 September, 2002

An Account of the Pratts of Youghal and Castlemartyr ( Co. Cork, Ireland ) and their Descendants by John Pratt of Mollom, Cumberland. Millom, 1931.

Henry Rose, of Patrick's Well, Co. Limerick ( 2nd son of Hickman Rose and Elizabeth Pratt ) b. 1740-1, m. October 1775, Alice, dau. of Alexander Hoops, of Tipperary, and died before 1799. Her will dated 10th Oct. 1825, was proved 20th Dec. 1828. The Shine family of Ballymacrease, Co. Limerick, were descendants of this marriage.

Note - The descendants of Elizabeth Pratt ( Mrs. Hickman Rose ), - I am indebted to Revd. Canon H. B. Swanzy for this information. He quotes 
(1) M.S. account of his children left by Hickman Rose ( formerly in the possession of the late Mr. Hickman Shine ). 
(2) Exchequer Bills, Studdert v Pratt, 31 Jan 1746-7, and Rose v Rose, 28 Nov 1749, and 
(3) Youghal Parish Register.

Hickman Rose was the only son of George Rose, of Ahabeg, by his first wife Jane, dau. of Thomas Hickman of Barntic, Co. Clare.

    Alphabetical listing of privately deposited records
    Canon Swanzy (depositor) documents T/517
    Swanzy Rev. Canon (depositor) document T/451
    Swanzy Rev. H.B. (depositor) papers T/282

  2. The Irish Genealogical Research Society 
    The Irish Club, 82 Eaton Square, London, SW1W 9AJ, England
    Three indexed volumes of transcripts of  chancery and exchequer bills concerned with counties, Cavan, Monaghan, Fermanagh, Galway and Roscommon and 132 Diocesan will abstracts and 379 Prerogative will abstracts collected by Rev. Canon Swanzy, Rector of Newry,  County Down.

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Bankrupt: Cornelius Shine and Charles Keer(?) of the City of Cork, Merchants and Ship Brokers, to surrender on Friday and Saturday the 12th and 13th July instant or on Saturday the 10th day of August.
Saunder's Newsletter, Mon., July 1st, 1805.


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Connaught Journal,  Galway, Ireland
Thursday, March 27,1823
Volume 69 Price 5 Pence

(From the Clonmel Advertiser)
A man by the name of SHINE was severely beaten a few nights back between Caher and Clogheen, and had one of his arms broken, by a party who way-laid him-it is supposed for his assisting in the apprehension of offenders some time back.


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Burke's Landed Gentry

'Rose of Ahabeg and Foxall'
Henry Rose and Alice Hoops had
Hickman Rose and Alexander Rose.

Alexander Rose, Capt. R.N., of Ballynandrahan, Co. Limerick m. Mary Elizabeth, eldest dau. of Gerald De Courcy Grady, and had three sons and four daughters.

1. Alexander O'Grady, d. unm., in Melbourne. Vic. Australia
2. Hickman, d. in Melbourne. Vic. Australia
3. Tom, d. Omaha, U.S.A. 1872.
4. Ellen, m. Wm. Cleburn, and died d.s.p.
5. Alice, d. unm.
6. Mary Elizabeth m. Lt. Col. Charles Clement Deacon, C.B., 61st Reg., and
had issue.
7. Henrietta Dorothea m. 11 Jan 1860 Jeremiah Shine, of Ballynacreese, Co.Limerick and d. 20 Jan 1909, leaving issue.

Clare Journal 2 Feb 1860

Marriage: On the 25th inst., at the Metropolitan Church, Marlborough Street, Dublin, F.C. Howley, Esq., of Cooga Lodge, Co. Sligo, and R.M. at Tipperary, to Delia Mary, eldest daughter of the late Jeremiah Shine, Esq., of Coolyhenan, Co. Limerick.

Contributor: "Declan Barron" <>

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Gravestone Inscription for my Grandfather  (Kate Press)


In loving memory
of Mary
beloved wife of
Cornelius Shine
died 9 September 1932 aged 60
natives of Co Clare, Yardfield
and Shanagolden, Co Limerick

Cornelius devoted husband of Mary
died 8th Jan 1944 aged 74

William & Baby Elizabeth
Also their brother
John Patrick Shine
died 17th Sept 1995 aged 82


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Marriage License Bonds for the Dioceses of  Cork, Cloyne, Cork and Ross

Richard Shine = Mary Stephens 1728


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