This interesting and most unusual surname has two possible origins. Firstly, it may be a variant of Sheehan, an Anglicized form of the Old Gaelic "O'Siodhachain", composed of the Gaelic prefix "O", male descendant of, and a personal name from "siodhach", peaceful. This was the name of a Dalcassian sept, located in Clare, Limerick and Tipperary, who spread southwards and are now very numerous in counties Cork, Kerry and Limerick. However, the surname may also be of Old Scandinavian origin, as a locational name from places called Sheen in Staffordshire, and in Surrey; the former appears as "Sceon" in the 1002 Wills, and the latter is recorded as "Sceon" in 950 in the Saxon Chronicles.These placenames are derived from the Old Norwegian word "skjaa", a shed, kiln, coming from the Old Norse "skiol", a shelter. Early recordings include John Shene, who married Alice Groome at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London; the christening of Edward Sheen on October 13th 1695, at Great Bookham, Surrey; and the marriage of Thomas Sheen and Mary Wallace on November 14th 1865, in Belfast, County Antrim, Ireland. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Jacobi Sheene, which was dated May 13th 1543, a christening witness at Alstonfield, Staffordshire, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Good King Hal", 1509 - 1547. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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