Byrn History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Byrn 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 Byrn family

The surname Byrn was first found in Leinster, where they were descended from Bran, the King of Leinster who died in 1052. [1] 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." [2]

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).[1]

Early History of the Byrn family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Byrn 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 Byrn History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Byrn 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 Byrn family name. Variations found include Byrne, Byrnes, O'Byrne, O'Byrnes and others.

Early Notables of the Byrn 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 Byrn Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Byrn migration to the United States +

Thousands of Irish families left for North American shores in the 19th century. These people were searching for a life unencumbered with poverty, hunger, and racial discrimination. Many arrived to eventually find such conditions, but many others simply did not arrive: victims of the diseased, overcrowded ships in which they traveled to the New World. Those who lived to see North American shores were instrumental in the development of the growing nations of Canada and the United States. A thorough examination of passenger and immigration lists has disclosed evidence of many early immigrants of the name Byrn:

Byrn Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Garret Byrn, who arrived in Virginia in 1715 [3]
  • John Byrn, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1745 [3]
  • M Byrn, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1767 [3]
Byrn Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Byrn, aged 32, who arrived in America in 1822 [3]

Canada Byrn migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Byrn Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Patrick Byrn, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
Byrn Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Denis Byrn, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1825

Australia Byrn migration to Australia +

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

Byrn Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Bridget Byrn, aged 30, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Lord Raglan" [4]

New Zealand Byrn 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:

Byrn Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Catherine Byrn, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Nimroud" in 1864

Contemporary Notables of the name Byrn (post 1700) +

  • Anne Byrn, American cookbook author and the former food editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and The Tennessean
  • Gogs Byrn, British musician, member of the band Cud


The Byrn 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: Certavi et vici
Motto Translation: I have fought and conquered.


  1. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
  2. ^ 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
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ South Australian Register Wednesday 25th October 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Lord Raglan 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/lordraglan1854.shtml


Houseofnames.com on Facebook
Shipping
Fastest Delivery Possible

Digital Products on Checkout, all other products filled in 1 business day

Money Back
Money Back Guarantee

Yes, all products 100% Guaranteed

Support
BBB A+ Rating

The Best Rating possible

Payment
Secure Online Payment

Entire site uses SSL / Secure Certificate