Genealogical Notes On Shields Family By Kevin R.O'Shiel

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Document ID 9005164
Date 01-01-1700
Document Type Family Papers
Archive Public Record Office, Northern Ireland
Citation Genealogical Notes On Shields Family By Kevin R.O'Shiel; PRONI T 2237/10; CMSIED 9005164
           1. General James Shields, U.S.A.

      According to my information, largely derived from my father, the
late Francis Shields, Solicitor, Omagh, Co. [County?] Tyrone, my uncle
the late
James Shields, of Altmore House, Pomeroy, Co. [County?] Tyrone and my
second cousin,
the late Peter Shields, Barradtown [Barracktown?] Altmore, Pomeroy, Co.
[Country?] Tyrone,
General James Shields was born at Altmore House on May 6, 1806.  He was
the eldest of the three sons of Charles Shiels (or Shields). The two
younger brothers were Daniel and Patrick.

    When James S. (thus I shall henceforth refer to the General in this
memo to avoid confusion) was nine years old his father died.  The news
of the Battle of Waterloo reached those assembled at his wake.  James S.s
mother survived her husband by twenty-two years, dying in 1842.  Her
name was McDonald or McDonnell and the tradition of the family is that
she was of Scots extraction, being a descendant of the McDonalds of
Glencoe. Her branch of the McDonalds, having survived the massacre of
the clan by King William's partisans, the Campbells in 1692, escaped to
Ireland and settled in the Counties Antrim and Tyrone.  Her father lived
on a farm in the townland of Shinahergina, near Cookstown, Co. [County?]

     When James S.'s father died he left his widow in fairly comfortable
circumstances; he particularly desired her to see to it that his sons got
a thoroughly good education. His widow was most anxious to carry out
his wishes in that respect, but, like all the McDonalds, she was a strong
"Papist" and hesitated to send them to Protestant schools, then the only
schools extant. In her difficulty she approached her brother,Rev.[Reverend?]
Dr. McDonnell, who was afflicted with paralysis and unable to officate
in the duties of the priesthood.  This priest, I understand, taught at
Maynooth College, for a while.  He gladly undertook the tuition of the
Shiels boys which he appears to have discharged very thoroughly, giving
them a good grinding [grounding?] in French, Latin, and Greek.  He is said
to have studied in France, which country he had to leave on the outbreak of
the Revolution. Presumably this tutor died when his pupils were still young
for we find later that James S. attended a hedge school and later still, -
mirabile dictu! - a Protestant school in the Carrickmore district under
the direction of the local rector, a namesake and a close connection of
Sir John Stewart of the Atherree, Co. [County?] Tyrone, who was
M.P. [Member of Parliament?] for the county and, at the time of the
Union, the Attorney-General, who actually drafted that controversial
measure. For that service he was awarded a baronetry [baronetcy?]
in 1803.

    There is a tradition in the family that James S. went to school in
Ballyshannon, Co. [County?] Donegal, for a short time during a visit to
his relative, Dr. Shiel, who carried on the practice of medicine in
that town. The young Shields family had an uncle, James who lived in
Charleston, S. C. [South Carolina?] in the U.S.A.
and when James S. was about eleven years of age, that uncle
came to Altmore on a visit to his relatives. He was an educated man,
having been, like so many Irish Catholics in those penal times, educated in
France.  Ultimately he went to America and became a professor of Latin and
Greek in Charleston College.  Like his nephew he had a taste for the
military life.  He took part in the war of Independance and the war of 1812
between the U.S. and Great Britian and particpated in the defence of the
City of New Orleans under General Andrew Jackson ("Old Hickory") where he
was wounded in the thigh in a night attack in the British position.

      Old James, during his stay, often examined the nephews on their
studies, and he was a schoolmaster himself and was, it seems,
particularly taken and surprised at his nephew, James S.'s advanced
knowledge of French, Latin and Greek.  Before returning to America
he was so pleased with his high standard of knowledge for his age
that he promised to make him his heir (he was unmarried) should he
come to America, and showing him a huge gold watch and
chain, said: "This will be yours when you come out to America."

    After a visit of three months the elder James returned to Charleston,
where he kept up a regular correspondence with his nephew, always
encouraging him to proceed with his education to which he attached the
highest importance.  His mother was very anxious for him to embrace the
Law, which he did, later on in America, but not in Ireland.
James S., from childhood, was always very interested in military lore
and constantly sought the company of British Army pensioners,
of whom there were then a considerable number in the district
after the wars.  From one old soldier, in particular, Bernard McGuckian, who
had served through the Peninsular war and had been present at waterloo,
James S. learned the sword exercises and the rudiments of military drill,
and from books which the pensioner lent him he acquired a knowledge of
military tactics, which, as he often declared, he frequently put in
parctice [practice?] with good results during his military career.

      James S. whilst little more than a boy, had an argument on some
military point with one of those veterans in the course of which he
contradicted the veteran. The veteran, an arrogant, self-opinionated man,
called him a liar whereupon James S., struck him in the face, to the
astonishment of all present.  A challenge to a duel was the outcome of
this hot-headed action which was only stopped at the last moment by a
mutual friend, called McVeigh who threw himself between the antagonists
on the field of combat itself.

     James S. emigrated to the American Continent in the year 1826, which
would make him twenty years of age; though another source says, it was
three years earlier when he would have been seventeen years of age.
He landed, it seems, at Montreal, (some accounts say Quebec) and wrote
at once to his Uncle James at Charleston, but receiving no reply,
he considered it indifference and he never wrote again to him
and abandoned the idea of going to Charleston.  (Had he done so
he might well have become a supporter of the Confederacy and fought
against the Union under Stonwall [Stonewall?] Jackson or
some other Confederate general.  An intriguing speculation, indeed!) The
explanation of the elder James' silence was that whilst his nephew was on
the high seas, making for America, he was struck down with yellow fever
and died.  The famous watch passed to old James grand nephew, another
James Shields, railroad contractor, of St Paul, Minnesota, in whose
family it doubtless still is.  James S., finding himself without friends
and badly in need of a means of livihood, took the first job that presented
itself,- a clerkship in a merchant vessel. He made a number of voyages
in this ship and was eventually shipwrecked on the Scottish coast, the only
persons who succeeded in swimming to the shore being the Captain, a seaman
and James S. He gave tuition in French and the classics to a Church of
Scotland clergyman's sons for three of four months. Eventually he
received a letter from his old employer, the Captain of the lost vessel,
that he had secured the command of another ship, he rejoined his former
Captain who had him appointed first mate.  Numerous voyages were made in
this ship to different parts of the world and finally, when the ship was
entering New York harbour, while James S. was helping to take in a
sailyard, he was blown from the mast head, and fell on deck, receiving
serious injuries and rendered unconsious.  When he became conscious he found
himself in nun's hospitial, where he remained for three months, hovering
between life and death. When he recovered he was so dissatified with
his nautical experience that he abondoned sealife and trecked [trekked?]
westward and as far inland as he could from "the angry sea." The rest of
his career is well known in America history.

     The will of Charles Shields, the father of James S., is dated
January 22, 1810.  The executors were his brother Daniel and Daniel
McDonald of Shinahergina, his brother-in-law.  In that will he made
provision for his wife and left his landed property to his sons, two of
whom, James S. and Daniel, were then in being, and the other, Patrick,
was "in ventre sa mere" and was subsequently born on March, 17, 1810.
(hence his Christian name, no doubt).  Probate of that will was granted
from the Consistorial Court of Armagh to Daniel Shiels on October 22,
1816.  The date of Charles' death is not recorded on the probate but it
is understood that, on the night of his wake, the news of the Battle of
Waterloo reached those attending the wake.

     James, the aforesaid uncle of James S., who died in Charleston,
S.C. [South Carolina?] U.S.A., made his will on December, 10, 1827,
and therein he mentions the following relatives: James S., Daniel and
Patrick, sons of his deceased brother, Charles;
and the following sisters:
Eliza Quin, wife of James Quin of [Golosha?]
Nancy Quin, wife of Daniel Quin of Tolom.[Tolvin?]
Mary Nugent, wife of Felix Nugent of Gortin
Catherine McVeigh, widow,
all in the County Tyrone.
He appointed James Fox and Elizabeth Anne Dowling of Charleston, S.C
[South Carolina?] his executors.  He signed his name "James Shiels."
The exact date of his death is not known.

          2. General Shields' Kin in Ireland

    As I have said James S. had two brothers who lived and died in
Ireland, Daniel and Patrick. The elder, Daniel, resided at Barracktown
House, Altmore.  Of his children, Peter succeeded to Barracktown House
and lands on his death and, as far as I know, the other members of his
family emigrated to the U.S.A.  One of those sons, Litton (so called
after Master Litton, a landowner in the Altmore district, whose agent
Daniel was) became a contractor to the Pennsylvanian Railroad and died
about the 1930's a very wealthy man.  Peter, the only member of Daniel's
family who remained in Ireland, married a Miss McCann from the Co. [County?]
Derry and had a son and daughter.  The son, Daniel, is Jesuit priest of
the Irish Province of that order and is at St. Francis Xavier's Church,
Gardiner Street, Dublin.  The daughter, Mary, lives at Barracktown House,

     Patrick, the youngest brother, married a Miss Campbell from South
Tyrone and had a family of seven sons and two daughters.  Two of the sons,
John and Charles, emigrated to America after a brief sojourn in
Australia.  They settled in the State of Utah where they married and
had families and grand children.  John died in Park City, Utah, of which
city he had been mayor and Charles died in Salt Lake City at the age of
ninety-three, about thirty years ago.  Patrick, besides running a farm,
managed the Shields Bank, which he had founded in 1850, and which was
very prosperous in his life time.  After his death, however, it met with
difficulties and the inevitable crash, to the tune of £160,000, came in
the year 1899.  The Court of Appeal found that the main cause of the
disaster was the offer to depositors of too high a rate of interest.
His eldest son, Michael, was a partner with him in the P. and M. Bank
and on his father's death, he succeeded to Altmore House where he died
about 1910.  He married Miss Elizabeth Murphy of Lurgan who died and
secondly Elizabeth James of Belfast by whom [he?] had two daughters,
one of whom went to America and died on 1964.

     Of Patrick's three other sons who remained in Ireland, James succeeded
to Altmore House on the death of his brother. He had, besides the farm
in Altmore, business interests in Dungannon, eight miles away.  He
married Miss Margaret McElholm of Dungannon and had a family of eight
of whom four, one son and three daughters survive and all but one live
in Ireland.  James the [James's?] eldest son, Frank, died a few years ago.
He was a dentist and practiced in Dungannon.  He was married to Miss Byrne
of Dublin and had two sons, Aidan and Frank, both now living in England
where Frank is a dentist in practice in Surrey.

      James' only surviving son, Vincent Peter, is a solicitor living in
Loughrea, Co. [County?] Galway.  He married Miss Tighe from Cavan and
has two surviving sons, one Dan, a solicitor in partnership with him and
the other Frank, a barrister-at-law and a member of the Connacht Circuit.
Both are married.  Of James' surviving daughters, two, Mona and Norah
reside in Dublin where Norah is a solicitor.  Molly is married, living
in England.  Patrick Junior resided in Altmore Lodge and practiced as a
Solicitor in Dungannon until his death, nearly sixty years ago.  He
married Miss Minnie Roantree whose family lived in Sligo, and had a
family of five, three boys and two girls, of whom one boy and one girl
survive. This brother and sister (Maurice and Eve) are living at
Altmore Lodge; they are unmarried.

     Francis,the second youngest of Patrick's family married Elizabeth
Roantree.  He was solicitor and practiced in Omagh where he lived
until his death in his ninety-first year, eighteen years ago.
He was the founder of the legal firm of Shields and Murnaghan
in that town. He had a family of six of whom three survive.
The eldest Kevin, a Senior Council, is a retired Land Commissioner,
living in Dublin.  He married Miss Cecil Smiddy of Cork
and had two daughters, both married.  His brother, Frank, is a doctor
living in London.  He retired recenty [recently?] from the post of
Medical Officer of Health for Stephney [Stepney?] borough.
He married Miss Thelma Morks of Holland and has one son,
Michael, a doctor in London.  His sister, Syra, is a
widow living in Great Ryburgh, Norfolk.  Her husband, Sir Victor
Pryce-Jones, Bart [Baronet?];, died last year.

     Of Patrick's daughters one, Catherine, was a nun and died in the
convent of Carndonagh Co. [County?] Donegal, seventy years ago.
Mary married Dr. McGrath from Tipperary who had a practice in Coalisland,
Co. [County?] Tyrone.  On his death she joined her youngest brother,
Joseph, who was R.C.[Roman Catholic?] pastor of St. Mathew's Church,
Sarah St. [Street?], St. Louis.  Both are dead.

           3. General Shield's Kin in U.S.A.

      James S. married late in life a Miss Mary Ann Carr who had emigrated
from Loughall, Co. [County?] Armagh.  They were married in San Francisco
in 1861 (which would make James S. fifty-five years of age) where he had
opened a Law office in partnership with Judge Corkery. There were five
children of the marriage: Mary and James who died in childhood, Charles
who became a lawyer and practiced in Carrollton, Mo [Missouri?], Katherine
and Daniel.The latter was a doctor and lived in New York.  He never
married.  I have no information as to the marriages of issues (if any)
of James S.s children.

    Of other American Shields I have little information.  James S.s
brother, Daniel, of Barracktown House, Altmore, had I think, two or three
sons who emigrated to America, one of whom, Litton, settled in St. Paul's,
[St. Paul?] Minnesota, where he engaged in contracting and became a very
wealthy man.  He has three daughters and one son.  Certainly two of the
daughters married.  (A son of one, John Dunston, now living at Cambridge,
Boston, Mass.  [Massachusettes?] called on me in Dublin about two years ago.
He was a man in his Sixties and was engaged in the publishing line
 - Doubleday's, I think).  Litton's only son, seemingly, made a fortune in
Biro pens and died in early life.

     In the State of Utah in [is?] another pocket of Shields descended
from the two sons, John and Charles, of James S.'s brother Patrick, of
Altmore House.  The aforesaid John (Many years dead) lived at Park City, in
that State of which city he was one-time Mayor.  He married and had sons and
daughters.  One of his sons, Dan B., a lawyer, was Attorney-General for
Utah under the Woodrow Wilson regime.  He still lives in Salt Lake City,
a man of at least eighty-six, where he has a law office.  He is married
and has children, and I presume, all now married and parents.

     The aforesaid Charles lived in Salt Lake City till his death in the
1930's at the age of ninety-three.  He had two children, a boy and a
girl.  The boy died in childhood and the girl, Frances Ruth, married and
has a family.  Today she is a widow, Mrs. Gowans, and lives in Utah,-
1559, So. [South?] 16 East, Salt Lake City.  Her children are married and
she has numerous grandchildren.  She has been the most loyal and consistent
member of the American branch of the Shields' clan in keeping up contact
with the homeland.  For twenty or thirty years, until his death, she
corresponded regularly with my father; now she corresponds regularly
every year with me.  That is all I know of the American Shields.  There
must be many more scattered round the States but I have no knowledge of

            4. General Shields' Ancestry

      There are two distinct versions of James S.'s ancestry that by no
means harmonise and, indeed, on certain importants points are incapable of
being reconciled.  I give them as I know them.  One is the traditional
version that has come down in the family. This I label "A". The other
version is the result of recent researches by the Reverend E. Delvin,
[Devlin?], of Donaghmore, a careful and painstaking regional historian.
This version I label "B".
    (A) The first of the O'Shiel, Sheale or Shields family of Tyrone
of whom we have reliable knowledge, lived in the reign of James II.  He
resided at Cranfield, Co. [County?] Antrim and may have been a relative
of Captain Charles O'Shiell, one of the Restorees of Charles II in that
country.  In the Williamite Wars he and his five sons sided with King
James II and fought under General St. Ruth in the Battle of Aughrim.
The father and two sons were killed in that Battle.  Of the remaining
three, the two elder brothers took part in the Siege of Limerick and,
after the Treaty of Limerick, went to Spain with the Irish soldiers who
expatriated themselves.  A descendant of one of those exiles, I believe,
became governor of the Spanish colony of Cuba.  The remaining boy, Daniel,
who was only sixteen years of age, relying on the guarantee in the Treaty of
Limerick, returned to the North to claim, if possible, the family lands.
with much difficulty he made his way to the Co. [County?] Tyrone and "went
on his keeping" in the hilly and then very isolated country around
Almore [Altmore?].  From time to time he paid stolen vists to the old
family homestead in Cranfield, Co. [County?] Antrim and in one of those
journeys he was fortunate in saving the lives of two young women who
were boating in Lough Neagh.  The boat, having capsized in a sudden storm,
the girls were thrown into the water.  Young Daniel, seeing their
danger, hastened to their rescue and, being a strong swimmer,
succeeded in rescuing them.  It happened that these girls were
the daughters of an Englishman, a Williamite officer called Morris,
then in charge of a fortress, called Mountjoy Castle, near
the Lough.  The Captain and his daughters were, naturally grateful to
O'Shiel, for his timely succour.  They treated him hospitably and a
friendly intercourse sprang up which resulted in O'Shiel marrying one of
the Morris girls.  Her sister married the ancestor of Sir John Stewart,
The general was the great-great-grandson of that lady.

     On the western slope of the Altmore Hills the Goverment had erected
a military barracks where a force of soldiers was kept for the purpose of
protecting English travellers from the attacks of "rebels" and raparees.
Many of the rebels were Irish chiefs and gentry who had been dispoiled
[despoiled?] of their property as a result of the wars and they lived a
wild life in that hilly county, frequently retaliating on Goverment
agents and soldiers. Captain Morris had his son-in-law, O'Shiel, appointed
governor of Altmore Barracks.

     The military guard in Altmore was withdrawn to assist at the Battle
of Culloden Moor in Scotland in 1745 and the barracks, as such, fell into
disuse, the soldiers never returning to it.  O'Shiel, then an old man of
over seventy years, remained at Altmore with his family and took a lease
of the great townland from the Stewarts with whom, tradition says, they
were connected through the Morris.'

     From the time that General Shields' great-great-grandfather was made
governor of Altmore Barrcks up to the very recent times the lands of Altmore
have been in possession of the Shields family, a period of over 250 years.
So much for the romantic traditional version.

      (B.). Father Eammon Devlin, C.C. [Curate in Charge?], of Donaghmore
made a number of researches into the family and came to some varying

(1) In his preliminary researches he says "The first reference to a
Shiels at Altmore occurs between 1739-41 when a certain James Cust was
Barrack-master of a number of military establishments in the Counties
Armagh and Tyrone.  Before the destruction of the documents in Dublin in
1921, Tenison-Groves made copious extracts concerning these barracks.
Among the documents he quoted from were letters from the Rev. [Reverend?]
Dr. Richardson, the Landlord of Altmore, Thos. [Thomas?] Knox of Dungannon,
M.P. [Member Parliament?] and Patrick Shiels of Cappagh who said he
had been appointed Keeper of Altmore Barracks by James Cust.
This Patrick was clearly the first of his name to be associated
with Altmore Barracks and this must be the man family
tradition states to have married a daughter of Thomas Morris the Sheriff
of Tyrone.  This marriage must surely explain why Patrick Shiels, an
Irish Papist, was appointed Keeper of Altmore at a very difficult period
for Irish Catholicism.  This, too, must have been the man family
tradition says came from France.  If he came from France, he most likely
came from Nantes and at present I have a priest in Nantes searching the
Baptismal Registers of the period for his name."

(2) In his later researches Father Devlin writes:
  "The first of the name (O'Shiel) who came to Tyrone was one James
O'Siadhail (Jacobus O Sheale) who is mentioned in Fynes Moryson's
Itinerary under the year 1601 as a Captain of 200 Foot under Hugh O'Neill
in O'Neill's own country.  He is described then as a Leinsterman.  This
Jacobus O Sheale, like so many of the Old Irish of Tyrone  after the flight
of the Chieftains, served on the early Inquisition in Dungannon (1608 etc.)
When Sir Arthur Chichester implemented the Plantation.  As a result he
was one of the those Irish Catholics who got a small grant of land....He
became the petty proprietor of the townland of Tullyaran, Larkhill and
Coolmaghery in this (Donaghmore) Parish.  He died in Coolmaghery on
January 16, 1618 and had a son, Toby, aged 13 years:

This information comes from a document called 'Inquisitionum Cancellariae
Biberniae [Hiberniae?] Repertorium. ' We must suspect that he called his
son after Sir Toby Caulfield who got 1,OOO acres in Donaghmore parish
where he built his castle and Baron i.e. Caulfield.  This was very
much in keeping with the spirit of the times and shows that James
O Sheale, like so many others, had become friendly to the English.

     Until my own investigations the only known subsequent references to
the family were in the Civil Survey, 1653, which tells us that the above
named townlands were in the possession of Toby Sheals on
22 October 1641, i.e. the day before the outbreak of the Rebellion,
and the down Survey 1655-6 which mentions the proprietor Toby
and lists the land as forfeited.  The original Grants to natives had
been governed by the proviso that they would forfeit their lands
if they entered into rebellion: There is no mention of the family
on any known printed document after that.

     I knew from local tradition that these townlands were in the possession
of the Lowrys of Rockdale at the break up of the landlord system and I
thought if I could get the papers of the Lowry Estate I might find
some further details about the family O Sheale.  I discovered that the
firm of Solicitors of Versables and Byers, Cookstown, would be most likely
the best chance, as it was a very old firm.  I visited them and was well
received by their Mr. McCutcheon who give me access to many valuable
documents going back to 1609..... The earliest document that relates to
your family is a copy of a Feoffment drawn in 1637 between Toby Sheale
and Robert Pippard of Drogheda. From this document it transpires that
Toby now marries Alson Pippard and 'in lieu of jointure, dower, and thirds'
gives Alson £30 per annum out of the estate, if and as long as she survives
him. In 1639 Toby increased his estate  by the purchase of Skea from
Capt. [Captain?] John Perkins who was to get a rude awakening on
Oct. [October?] 23, 1641 (the date of the outbreak of the Rebellion).
Toby Sheale paid him £100 for Skea and, by this time Toby was a
merchant in the City of Dublin.

     Toby Sheale had two daughters to Alson pippard - Mary and Ann.
Toby himself died in 1658 and Alson then married a Luke Forstall.  The
Donaghmore property was forfeited during the Cromwellian regime, but on
the restoration of Charles II it was possible for anyone under the Act of
Settlement to take a case for the restoration of land they held up till 1641
To recover estates it was necessary to prove 'constant good affection.'
Luke Forstall, his wife Alson, Mary and Anne Sheale [Shields?] took such a
case in the King's Court Dublin, in 1663, and because their father had been
in Dublin during the Rebellion, and they being women, succeeded in having the
three original townlands, together with Skea, restored.  This must be unique
for Tyrone was the very heart and centre of the Rebellion.  In fact
the Sheales [Shields?] were the only Catholic proprietors in Tyrone in
Charles II's time.
I have a full copy of the decree, giving the petition and judgement, in
which the Sheriff of Tyrone was ordered to restore to them the property
At the time of the case Mary and Ann were minors.

    Ann Sheale married one Alan Clarke, a merchant of the City of Dublin
and had a son, Alan Clarke.  Mary had a son, Luke Sheale, [Shields?] a
merchant of the City of Nantes in the Kingdom of France.  Mary is described
in a document I have as a widow and must have married a namesake.  If Luke
was illegitmate this would surely have been mentioned, and in fact had he
been I think he could not have inherited a share of the estate.  Luke Sheale
[Shields?] and Alan Clarke inherited jointly the Donaghmore lands from
their mothers and at a certain stage a dispute arose between them about the
division of the rents.  Luke accused Clarke of cornering the lot and gave his
'trusted and well-beloved kinsman' Morice Kennedy of Dublin full power of
attorney to deal with the matter.  As a result the estate was sold to Faithful
Fortesque [Fortescue?] in 1730.  The estate passed to two other landlords
after that and eventually came into the possession of the Lowrys of Tullyhog.
     Luke Sheill [Shields?] the merchant of Nantes, came home before 1740
and married a daughter of the Sheriff of Tyrone, John Hamilton.  Because
of this alliance he was placed in command of the Barracks in Barrackstown
[Barracktown?], Altmore, and was the first of his name there.

                    E. Devlin, C.C. [Curate in Charge?]
                    Co. [County?] Tyrone."


      If we accept the "A" version it would seem that the first Shiels
[Shields?] (Daniel) came to Altmore not later than the early
years of the 18th century if the "B" version about 1739 or 1740.

     Charles Shields of Altmore House, father of the general, was my
father's grandfather.  I understand his father was Patrick Shields but
cannot be sure of that.  I have never got any knowledge of that Patrick's
(if that was his name) family, but,seeing that he and his forbears have
occupied Altmore for so long, I am sure it should not be too hard to
trace it.

      I know of no letters or Documents bearing on or connected with the
General's life whilst he was in Ireland.
     I have never heard of any family papers or records as far as I
know, Messrs. Shields and Murnaghan, Solicitors, Omagh, the family
Solicitors, have nothing of that nature.

     All the information I have regarding the Shields' tenure of Altmore is
that in 1745 the military guard there was withdrawn to assist at the Battle
of Culloden Moor in Scotland which defeated the Jacobite Young Pretender and
the military never returning to Altmore.  The then Shiels, remained at
Altmore with his family and took a lease of the great townland, which
lease was renewed from time to time by the Stewarts, the landlords, until
eventually, when the Penal Laws had been partially repealed and Catholics
permitted to take long term leases, Charles, the grandfather of the General
took a lease of Altmore in perpetuity.  Finally, by the action of the
Landed Estate Court the Shields became full freeholders of the Altmore lands

    I know that the Barracktown and Altmore House property were purchased
out under the Land Purchase Acts and both places were paying a land purchase
annuity in respect of these propeties and, as far as I know, still are, by
their present owner.  These annuities should enable the devolution of those
lands to be easily traced back either through the Land Purchase Commission,
or its successor in Belfast or the Land Commission in Dublin.

                                   KEVIN R. O'SHIEL