Brohan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Many variations of the name Brohan 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.

Saint Brendan or Brenainn (490?-573), of Birr, "which was so called from the abundance of wells there (birr, birra, water), now Parsonstown, in the King's County. He was son of Neman, a poet, and Mansenna, and belonged to the race of Corb Aulam, great-grandson of Rudhraighe, from whom were the Clanna Rudhraighe. " [1]

Another Saint Brendan or Brenainn (484-577), of Clonfert, was born in 484, at Littus li, or Stagnum li, now Tralee, co. Kerry. "He is termed son of Finnloga, to distinguish him from his contemporary, St. Brendan of Birr. " [1]

Early Origins of the Brohan family

The surname Brohan 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 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.

Early History of the Brohan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Brohan research. Another 124 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1395, 1520, 1600, 1832, 1625, 1693, 1768, 1830 and 1794 are included under the topic Early Brohan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Brohan Spelling Variations

Before widespread literacy came to Ireland, a name was often recorded under several different variations during the life of its bearer. Accordingly, numerous spelling variations were revealed in the search for the origin of the name Brohan family name. Variations found include Brennan, McBrennan, Brannon, Brannan, Brannen, Brannin, Brennyn, Brannyn, MacBrennan, Brenan, Branon, Branan, Branen and many more.

Early Notables of the Brohan family (pre 1700)

Notable among the family name at this time was Sir Art O'Brennan of Castlecomer Castle; Most Rev. John Brennan (1625-1693), Bishop of Waterford and Archbishop of Cashel; John Brennan (1768-1830)...
Another 29 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Brohan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Australia Brohan migration to Australia +

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

Brohan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Norry Brohan, aged 25, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Sea Park"

New Zealand Brohan migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Brohan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Michael Brohan, aged 18, a farm labourer, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Caroline" in 1876 [2]


  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 5th November 2010). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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