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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: Irish-Alt, Irish

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

Many variations of the name Brannon have evolved since the time of its initial creation. In Gaelic it appeared as "O Braondin," from the word "braon," which has several meanings, possibly meaning "sorrow" in this case.


Pronunciation, rather than spelling, guided scribes and church officials when recording names during the Middle Ages. This practice often resulted in one person's name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations of the surname Brannon are preserved in these old documents. The various spellings of the name that were found include Brennan, McBrennan, Brannon, Brannan, Brannen, Brannin, Brennyn, Brannyn, MacBrennan, Brenan, Branon, Branan, Branen and many more.

First found in County Kilkenny (Irish: Cill Chainnigh), the former Kingdom of Osraige (Ossory), located in Southeastern Ireland in the province of Leinster, where the family claim descent from Braonan, an Irish Prince, brother of Ceallach, 17th King of Ossory. Braonan later became the King of Ossory, and also King of the Danes of Dublin, and was known as the Prince of Idough. His son, Conglach, in a dispute over the throne of Ossory, was killed near Three Castles, County Kilkenny. At this point in time the Brennans were in conflict with Brian Boru (1014), and most historians believe that the family was on the wrong side as allies of the Danish King. After Clontarf, they retained only the principality of Idough, but Anne, daughter of Guidhelgedh, three generations later, married the King of Ossory (Donogh), and the title was still extant even after the Anglo Norman invasion of 1172.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Brannon research. Another 247 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1395, 1520, 1600, 1832, 1625, 1693, 1768, 1830 and 1794 are included under the topic Early Brannon History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 99 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Brannon Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


A massive amount of Ireland's native population left the island in the 19th century for North America and Australia in hopes of finding more opportunities and an escape from discrimination and oppression. A great portion of these migrants arrived on the eastern shores of the North American continent. Although they were generally poor and destitute, and, therefore, again discriminated against, these Irish people were heartily welcomed for the hard labor involved in the construction of railroads, canals, roadways, and buildings. Many others were put to work in the newly established factories or agricultural projects that were so essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest nations in the world. The Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s initiated the largest wave of Iris immigration. Early North American immigration and passenger lists have revealed a number of people bearing the name Brannon or a variant listed above:

Brannon Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Patrick Brannon, who landed in America in 1795
  • Michael Brannon, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1799

Brannon Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Christopher Brannon, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1807
  • Henry Brannon, aged 27, arrived in New York in 1812-1813
  • Honors Brannon, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1812
  • John Brannon, aged 18, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Margaret Brannon, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1812

Brannon Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • John Brannon, aged 30, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the brig "Trafalgar" from Galway


  • Charles E. Brannon (1919-1942), American sailor killed in action, recipient of the Navy Cross, eponym of Charles E. Brannon (DE-446)
  • Humphrey "Teddy" Brannon (1916-1989), American jazz and blues pianist
  • Chad Brannon (b. 1979), American actor, best known for his role on General Hospital
  • Ash Brannon (b. 1969), American animator, writer and director
  • Fred C. Brannon (1901-1953), American film director of the 1940s and 1950s
  • John Brannon, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Virginia, 1860
  • Henry Brannon (1837-1914), American politician, Member of West Virginia State House of Delegates, 1870-71; Circuit Judge in West Virginia, 1881; Judge of West Virginia supreme court of appeals, 1889-1912
  • Hazel Brannon, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Mississippi, 1940, 1944
  • Eleanor D. Brannon, American politician, Candidate for New York State Assembly from New York County 15th District, 1932, 1933
  • Earl Brannon (1895-1969), American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Illinois, 1932



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  1. 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.
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  3. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  4. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  5. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  6. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  7. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  8. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
  9. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
  10. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  11. ...

The Brannon Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Brannon 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 17 November 2015 at 11:52.

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