The old Gaelic name used by the Briens family in Ireland
was O Briain, which means descendant of Brian.
Early Origins of the Briens family
The surname Briens was first found in Thomond
, a territory comprised of most of County Clare
with adjacent parts of counties Limerick
. Prior to the 10th century, the sept was a Dalcassian Clan
known as the Ui Toirdealbhaigh and achieved prominence with the rise of their eponymous ancestor, Brian Boru (941-1014), to the High Kingship of Ireland
. Brian Boru, by far the most outstanding figure of this family, is widely acknowledged as the greatest of all the ancient Kings of Ireland
and is best remembered for driving the Norsemen out of Ireland
at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014.
Early History of the Briens family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Briens research.Another 373 words (27 lines of text) covering the years 1551, 1369, 1400, 1577, 1663, 1690, 1614, 1674, 1642, 1678, 1640, 1692, 1699, 1771, 1600, 1651, 1642, 1717, 1692 and 1714 are included under the topic Early Briens History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Briens Spelling Variations
The scribes who created documents long before either the Gaelic or English language resembled their standardized versions of today recorded words as they sounded. Consequently, in the Middle Ages the names of many people were recorded under different spellings each time they were written down. Research on the Briens family name revealed numerous spelling variations
, including O'Brien, OBrine, O'Brion, O'Bryan, O'Bryen, McBrien, McBrine, Brian, Briand, Briant, Brine, Brines, Briens and many more.
Early Notables of the Briens family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family name at this time was Brian Sreamhach MacMathghamhna O'Brien, king of the Irish region of Thomond
(1369-1400); Daniel O'Brien (1577-1663), member of the Supreme Council of Catholic Confederates; Daniel O'Brien (d. 1690), founder of the Irish Brigade known as Clare's Dragoons; Murrough McDermod O'Brien, 1st Earl of... Another 75 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Briens Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Briens family to the New World and Oceana
Many Irish families
boarded ships bound for North America in the middle of 19th century to escape the conditions of poverty and racial discrimination . Although these immigrants often arrived in a destitute state, they went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. An inquiry into many immigration and passenger lists has revealed many early immigrants to North America bearing the Briens family name:
Briens Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Owen Briens, who landed in New York in 1839 CITATION[CLOSE]
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)
The Briens 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: Lamh laidir an Uachtar
Motto Translation: The strong hand from above.