Shields Family History

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Shields Name Meaning

Irish: reduced form of O’Shields, an alternative Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Siadhail ‘descendant of Siadhal’. Northern English and Scottish: habitational name from a pair of places in Northumberland and County Durham (now both in Tyne and Wear) called North and South Shields, named with Middle English schele ‘shed’, ‘hut’, ‘shelter’. There has been much confusion between Shields and Shield and their variants.

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press

Similar surnames: Shield, O'shields, Shiels, Field, Sheilds, Fields, Shiel, Deshields

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Shields Ethnicity Estimate

What are the common regions with the Shields name?

These results combine data from everyone in the AncestryDNA® database with the last name Shields. The Ancestry® ethnicity regions shown are top five most common on average for these people.

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  • England & Wales


  • Ireland & Scotland


  • Germanic Europe


  • Cameroon, Congo, & Southern Bantu Peoples


  • Eastern Europe & Russia


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Shields Family Origin

Where is the Shields family from?

Shields Family Occupations

What did your Shields ancestors do for a living?

In 1880, a less common occupation for the Shields family was Farm Laborer. The most common Shields occupation in the USA was Farmer. 33% of Shields's were Farmers. Farmer, Laborer and Keeping House were the top 3 reported jobs worked by Shields.

View Census data for Shields | Data not to scale

  • Farmer

  • Laborer

  • Keeping House

  • Farm Laborer


Census records can tell you a lot of little known facts about your Shields ancestors, such as occupation. Occupation can tell you about your ancestor's social and economic status.

Shields Historical Records

What Shields family records will you find?

Census Record

There are 327,000 census records available for the last name Shields. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Shields census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search 1940's US census records for Shields

Passenger List

There are 40,000 immigration records available for the last name Shields. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the USA, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

View all Shields immigration records

Draft Card

There are 59,000 military records available for the last name Shields. For the veterans among your Shields ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Shields military records

You've only scratched the surface of Shields family history.

Shields Life Expectancy

What is the average Shields lifespan?

Between 1940 and 2004, in the United States, Shields life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1945, and highest in 2002. The average life expectancy for Shields in 1940 was 42, and 74 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Shields

An unusually short lifespan might indicate that your Shields ancestors lived in harsh conditions. A short lifespan might also indicate health problems that were once prevalent in your family. The SSDI is a searchable database of more than 70 million names. You can find birthdates, death dates, addresses and more.

Famous Shields Family Ancestors

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