Burniss History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The surname Burniss 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 Burniss family
The surname Burniss 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 Burniss family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Burniss 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 Burniss History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Burniss Spelling Variations
The Middle Ages saw a great number of spelling variations for surnames common to the Irish landscape. One reason for these variations is the fact that surnames were not rigidly fixed by this period. The following variations for the name Burniss were encountered in the archives: Byrne, Byrnes, O'Byrne, O'Byrnes and others.
Early Notables of the Burniss 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 Burniss Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
| Burniss 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 Burniss:
Burniss Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Ann Burniss, who settled in New York in 1830
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