This is an Anglicized form of the Old Gaelic name O' Sirideain. The Gaelic prefix "o" indicates "male descendant of", plus the personal nickname Siridean composed of the element "siride" meaning "elf", plus the diminutive suffix "an". In Irish mythology, the elf was usually looked upon as a rather mischievous creature, so we can presume that the first name bearer was a mischief maker. The family originated in County Longford where they held church property. Later they moved to County Cavan - the county in which the name is most prevalent today. The Sheridans distinguished themselves in the field of literature. Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751 - 1816) was a successful Dublin-born dramatist and author of "The Rivals" and "School Scandal" General Philip Henry Sheridan of Cavan (1831 - 1888) was a Commander in the American Civil War. The birth of Bernard Michael Sheridan, son of Patrick Sheridan and Anna McNerney, on February 18th 1920, was registered at Clonfin in the district of Granard, in the county of Longford. A famine immigrant, William Sheridan (aged 24 yrs.,), departed from Liverpool aboard the "Kalamazoo", bound for New York on March 24th 1846. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Denis Sheridan, of County Cavan, which was dated 1612, assisted Bedell in translating the Bible into Irish, during the reign of King James 1 of England and V1 of Scotland, 1603 - 1625. 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.