Breene History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Irish name Breene has evolved from the Gaelic Mac Braoin or O Braoin.

Early Origins of the Breene family

The surname Breene was 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 is descended through the Heremon line and claim to be direct descendants of King Niall of the Nine Hostages. They were known as the Lords of Brawney [1] and were an Ossory sept (Clann) seated near Knocktopher, Kilkenny, until they had to forfeit their lands by the Anglo Norman invasion of Strongbow, Earl of Pembroke in 1172. They were subsequently dispersed throughout Ireland.

Early History of the Breene family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Breene research. Another 185 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1303, 1324, 1560 and 1625 are included under the topic Early Breene History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Breene Spelling Variations

The recording of names in Ireland during the Middle Ages was an inconsistent endeavor at best. Since the general population did not know how to read or write, they could only specify how their names should be recorded orally. Research into the name Breene revealed spelling variations, including Breen, Breene, Brean, Breane, Bruen, Brawney, O'Breen, O'Braoin and many more.

Early Notables of the Breene family (pre 1700)

Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Breene Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Breene migration to the United States +

Death and immigration greatly reduced Ireland's population in the 19th century. For the native Irish people poverty, hunger, and racial prejudice was common. Therefore, thousands left their homeland to seek opportunity in North America. Those who survived the journey and the quarantine camps to which they arrived, were instrumental towards building the strong developing nations of the United States and the future Canada. By far, the largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. These were employed as construction or factory workers. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has shown early immigrants bearing the name Breene:

Breene Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Breene who settled in New York in 1803
  • John Breene, aged 15, who arrived in New York, NY in 1803 [2]
  • Anthony Breene, who arrived in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1856 [2]

Australia Breene migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Breene Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Julia Breene, aged 28, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Constantine"

Contemporary Notables of the name Breene (post 1700) +

  • Peter W. Breene, American fourth Lieutenant Governor of Colorado
  • Major-General Robert Gale Breene (1894-1969), American Deputy Commander of U.S. Army Air Forces in South Pacific Areas (1942-1944) [3]
  • William P. Breene, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Indiana, 1916 [4]
  • Samuel A. Breene, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1960, 1964 (alternate) [4]
  • Peter W. Breene (1846-1926), American politician, Member of Colorado State House of Representatives, 1883-85; Lieutenant Governor of Colorado, 1885-87; Colorado State Treasurer, 1887-88 [4]
  • Kevin Breene, American politician, Member of Rhode Island State Senate, 2000 [4]


The Breene Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Comnac an Ceane
Motto Translation: Fight for Right


  1. ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
  2. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  3. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, November 3) Robert Breene. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Breene/Robert_Gale/USA.html
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, February 1) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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