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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the Irish Brady family come from? What is the Irish Brady family crest and coat of arms? When did the Brady family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Brady family history?

The Irish name Brady originally appeared in Gaelic as Mac Bradaigh, possibly derived from bradach, which means spirited, which is in turn derived from brad, which means urging.


Within archives, many different spelling variations exist for the surname Brady. Ancient scribes and church officials recorded names as they were pronounced, often resulting in the name of the single person being recorded under several different spellings. Different spellings that were found include Grady, Brady, O'Grady, O'Brady, Braidy, Graidy, Bradie, Braidie, Braydy, Braydie, Gradie, Graidie, Graydy, Graydie, Bradigan, O'Bradigan and many more.

First found in Galway (Irish: Gaillimh) part of the province of Connacht, located on the west coast of the Island, and County Clare where they held a family seat from ancient times. They were descended from Olioll Olum, King of Munster who reigned about 130 A.D. and descended through a line of Chiefs and Kings to John O'Grady, alias O'Brady, who died in 1332 in the Clann territories of Fassaghmore in the county of Clare. His son, Sir Denis O'Grady alias O'Brady of Fassaghmore was knighted by King Henry VI of England. This great confusion of names continued into the 14th and 15th century and to make matters even more confusing the line frequently reverted from one spelling to the other. The Clann seat became established at Kilballyowen in County Limerick, and the present Chief of the Gradys (or Bradys) is one of the few Chiefs recognized in Ireland. He is Lieutenant Colonel Gerald Vogors de Courcy O'Grady. They were settled in Glenstal Abbey. Many of the name were also found in Cavan.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Brady research. Another 187 words(13 lines of text) covering the years 1454, 1710, 1752, and 1827 are included under the topic Early Brady History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 71 words(5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Brady Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


In the 18th and 19th centuries hundreds of thousands of Irish people immigrated to North American shores. The early settlers were enticed by the promise of their own land, but they were moderately well off in Ireland when they decided to emigrate. Therefore, they were merely carrying out a long and carefully thought out decision. The 1840s saw the emergence of a very different trend: thousands of extremely desperate people crammed into passenger boats hoping to find any type of opportunity. The Irish of this decade had seen their homeland severely stricken by crop failures which resulted in widespread disease and starvation. At whatever time the Irish immigrants came to North America, they were instrumental in the rapid development of the emerging nations of the United States and what would become known as Canada. An exhaustive search of passenger and immigration lists has revealed many persons bearing the name Brady, or one of its variants:

Brady Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Henry Brady, who arrived in Maryland in 1671
  • Andrew Brady, who arrived in Virginia in 1674
  • William Brady, who landed in Maryland in 1674

Brady Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Tho Brady, who landed in Virginia in 1712
  • Eleanor Brady, who came to Virginia in 1714
  • Eleanor Brady, who arrived in Virginia in 1714
  • Daniel Brady, who was sent to America in 1741
  • Wm Brady, who arrived in Virginia in 1741

Brady Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Francis Brady, who landed in America in 1807
  • Barney Brady, aged 31, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Owen Brady, aged 19, arrived in Massachusetts in 1812
  • James Brady, who arrived in America in 1812
  • John C Brady, aged 35, landed in Rhode Island in 1812


  • Alice Brady (1892-1939), American actress
  • Thomas Edward Patrick "Tom" Brady (b. 1977), American professional NFL football player for the New England Patriots
  • Diamond Jim Brady (1856-1917), American businessman, financier, and philanthropist of the Gilded Age
  • James Scott "Jim" Brady (b. 1940), American Assistant to the President and White House Press Secretary under U.S. President Ronald Reagan, permanently disabled as a result of an assassination attempt on Reagan in 1981, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Captain Charles Eldon Brady Jr. (b. 1951), American former NASA Astronaut with over 405 hours in space
  • Brigadier-General Francis M. Brady (1896-1969), American Commanding General Seymour Johnson Air Force Base (1943-1944)
  • Mathew B. Brady (1822-1896), American photographer, best known for his portraits of officers of the American Civil War and 18 presidents of the United States, called the "Father of Photojournalism"
  • James Buchanan Brady (1856-1917), known as Diamond Jim Brady, an American businessman, financier, and philanthropist
  • William J. Brady (1829-1878), American sheriff of Lincoln County, New Mexico, killed in an ambush in which Billy the Kid took part
  • Mr. John Bertram Brady (d. 1912), aged 41, American First Class passenger from Pomeroy, Washington who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking



  • John Brady and His Descendants: (1813-County Caven, Ireland-Fort Dodge, Iowa, USA 1900) by Margaret Mahan Goetz.

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  1. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
  2. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  5. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  6. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  7. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  8. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  9. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
  10. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  11. ...

The Brady Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Brady Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 11 October 2014 at 18:08.

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