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

Where did the Irish Brady family come from? 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.

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Irish names recorded during the Middle Ages are characterized by many spelling variations. This preponderance of variations for common names can be explained by the fact that the scribes and church officials that kept records during that period individually decided how to capture one's name. These recorders primarily based their decisions on how the name was pronounced or what it meant. Research into the name Brady revealed many variations, including 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.


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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.

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

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A great wave of Irish migration occurred during the 19th century as a direct result of English colonial rule and tight-fisted absentee landlords. Many of these Irish immigrants boarded passenger ships bound for North America. Those who migrated early enough were given land in either British North America or the United States; those who came in the late 19th century were typically employed in industrial centers as laborers. At whatever age they undertook the dangerous passage to North America, those Irish immigrants were essential to the speedy development of the two infant nations to which they arrived, whether they broke and settled land, helped build canals, bridges, and railroads, or produced products for consumer consumption. An examination of immigration and passenger lists has uncovered a large number of immigrants 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


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  • 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

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  • John Brady and His Descendants: (1813-County Caven, Ireland-Fort Dodge, Iowa, USA 1900) by Margaret Mahan Goetz.
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  1. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  2. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  3. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  4. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
  5. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  6. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  7. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  8. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  9. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  11. ...


This page was last modified on 21 October 2014 at 10:18.

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