Burnass History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The surname Burnass was "O Broin," in its Gaelic form, which means descendant of Bran. The family is descended from Bran, the king of Leinster who died in 1052, who, along with King Conn of the Hundred Battles descended from Cathair Mor, an earlier king of Leinster, who was also monarch of all Ireland around 200 AD.
Early Origins of the Burnass family
The surname Burnass was first found in Leinster, where they were descended from Bran, the King of Leinster who died in 1052.  He was descended from Cathair Mor King of Leinster, who was also Monarch of all Ireland about 200 A.D. From this stem King Conn of the Hundred Battles was also descended. During the Strongbow invasion in 1172, the family, along with the O'Tooles, were driven from their original lands in county Kildare, settling the wilder territory between Rathdrum and Shillelagh, in south Wicklow.
"The O'Bymes anciently possessed the greater part of the Barony of Ballinacor, County Wicklow, and wore powerful Chiefs in that part of the country. Byrne is the leading name now in the Counties of Wicklow, Dublin, and Louth." 
The sept increased in importance, and like their similarly displaced neighbors, were especially noted for their lengthy and tenacious resistance to the English invaders. Their successes in this struggle were numerous. Their military exploits of this time are celebrated in a compilation by some thirty-five authors of Gaelic poetry called the Leabhar Branch (Book of the O'Byrnes).
Early History of the Burnass family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Burnass research. Another 35 words (2 lines of text) covering the years 1580, 1574, 1598, 1544, 1597, 1591, 1744, 1830, 1775 and 1799 are included under the topic Early Burnass History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Burnass 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 Burnass family name. Variations found include Byrne, Byrnes, O'Byrne, O'Byrnes and others.
Early Notables of the Burnass family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family name at this time was Nicol Burne (fl. 1574-1598), a Scottish Roman Catholic controversialist; Fiacha MacHugh O'Byrne (1544-1597), best remembered for helping in the escape of Hugh Roe O'Donnell from prison in Dublin Castle in...
Another 39 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Burnass Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Burnass family
During the 19th century thousands of impoverished Irish families made the long journey to British North America and the United States. These people were leaving a land that had become beset with poverty, lack of opportunity, and hunger. In North America, they hoped to find land, work, and political and religious freedoms. Although the majority of the immigrants that survived the long sea passage did make these discoveries, it was not without much perseverance and hard work: by the mid-19th century land suitable for agriculture was short supply, especially in British North America, in the east; the work available was generally low paying and physically taxing construction or factory work; and the English stereotypes concerning the Irish, although less frequent and vehement, were, nevertheless, present in the land of freedom, liberty, and equality for all men. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. Research into passenger and immigration lists has brought forth evidence of the early members of the Burnass family in North America: Dinnis Byrne, who settled in Barbados in 1679; Adam O'Byrne, who settled in Jamaica in 1734; James and Patrick O'Byrne, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1806.
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: Certavi et vici
Motto Translation: I have fought and conquered.
- MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
- Matheson, Robert E., Special Report on Surnames in Ireland with Notes as to Numeric Strength, Derivation, Ethnology, and Distribution. Dublin: Alexander Thom & Co., 1894. Print