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The roots of the Breheny surname are linked to a set of 4,000 year old Irish law, known as the Brehon Law. There were no judges or lawyers, but the arbitrators whose responsibility it was to settle disagreements based on these laws were known as Brehons.

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The surname Breheny was first found in Kilkenny (Irish: Cill Chainnigh), the former Kingdom of Osraige (Ossory), located in Southeastern Ireland in the province of Leinster, where they held a family seat as judges and scholars. Irish history was greatly influenced by the Norman invasion of 1172, and thereafter, the surnames of Irish Gaelic clanns and septs and many of the Norman families became almost indistinguishable. This ancient Irish family name was found later in Sligo represented another early reference to the name.

Spelling variations of this family name include: Brehon, Brehane, Brehany, Brehaney, Breheny, Brehony, MacBreheny and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Breheny research. Another 199 words (14 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Breheny History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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More information is included under the topic Early Breheny Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Breheny Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • James Breheny, who was naturalized in Westmoreland Co. Pennsylvania in 1859
  • Bridget Breheny, who arrived in New York, NY in 1866
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  • Brian Breheny, movie cinematographer
  • Richard Breheny, Lecturer in the Department of Phonetics and Linguistics, University College, London
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Citations



    Other References

    1. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
    2. 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).
    3. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
    4. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
    5. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
    6. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
    7. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
    8. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
    9. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
    10. 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).
    11. ...

    The Breheny Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Breheny 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 13 March 2014 at 19:36.

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