Recorded as Sheran, Sheron, Sheeran, Sheerin, Sherrin, Sheryn, Shirran and others, this is an ancient Irish surname. It was originally recorded as O'Sheeryne and O'Sirin, and is claimed to be one of the examples of an Anglo-Norman family originally called Prendergast, who 'gaelicised' their name in the 15th century to show support for Irish independance. As O'Sirin the name seems to have been prevalent in County Cork in the census of Ireland in 1659, and yet by the 18th century the name is apparently extinct in that county, and found mainly if not entirely far away in the counties of Derry, Fermanagh and Donegal in Ulster. Here the spelling was usually O'Sheerin, although the O' prefix was then lost. To add to the confusion some of the Ulster nameholders may have an English origin. If so the derivation is from the pre7 the century word 'scirwine', a nickname for a fast runner, one who moved as quickly as the wind. What is certain is that there are many quite early recordings of the surname, and these include Katherine Shirran, christened at the church of St John the Evangelist, Dublin, on July 26th 1655, Anne O'Sheeryne who was christened at Derry Cathedral, Templemore, on February 12th 1656, and Alice, the daughter of James Sheran, christened at Six Mile Cross, County Tyrone, on February 23rd 1864. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas O'Sirin. This was dated 1606, at Cork, County Cork. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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