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Shay Coat of Arms / Shay Family Crest

Shay Coat of Arms / Shay Family Crest

The surname of SHAY was derived from the Old English word SCEAGA - a dweller by a small wood or shaw. A place name from Berkshire, Lancashire and Wiltshire. Habitation names, which are by far the largest group, usually denoted where the original bearer of the name held his land, and where he actually lived. These local surnames derive (with a few occasional exceptions) from English, Scottish or French places, and were originally preceded by a preposition such as 'atte' or 'bye'. The earliest local surnames of French origin are chiefly from Normandy, particularly from the departments of Calvados, Eure, Seine-Inferieure and La Manche, although some Frenchmen, arriving in England early acquired surnames from English places. Local names may derive from the manor held, the place of residence, and occasionally from a sign like an Inn or Tavern, or a particularly unusual shape of rock, hill, tree, stream or river. Early records of the name mention Simon de Schage of the County of Berkshire in 1191. Richard de la Schawe of the County of Worcestershire was recorded 1275. Henry del Schawe of the County of Yorkshire was documented in the year of 1307. Joannes del Schagh of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Anthonie, son of Anthonie Shawe, was baptised at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in the year 1608. George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) the Irish playwright, critic and writer on social and political subjects. He was the author of numerous plays including 'Man and Superman', 'Back to Methuselah', 'Candida' and 'Pygmalion'. He was born into a Protestant family which were established in Ireland by William Shaw, a captain in William 111's army, who went there circa. 1686. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.

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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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