O’ Shea is the Anglicisation of the original Gaelic Ó Séaghada, which comes from the personal name meaning ‘hawk-like’ or ‘fortunate’. The sept was located in the Barony of Iveragh in Co. Kerry, where they were lords until the 12th century. Some of the family migrated to counties Tipperary and Kilkenny as early as the 14th century. In Kilkenny the name is often spelt O’ Shee. One of the most famous O’ Sheas was Katharine, or Kitty, who was the mistress of Charles Stuart Parnell.