Byrnes History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The surname Byrnes 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 Byrnes family

The surname Byrnes 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 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]

Important Dates for the Byrnes family

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

Byrnes Spelling Variations

Pronunciation, rather than spelling, guided scribes and church officials when recording names during the Middle Ages. This practice often resulted in one person's name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations of the surname Byrnes are preserved in these old documents. The various spellings of the name that were found include Byrne, Byrnes, O'Byrne, O'Byrnes and others.

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

Byrnes migration to the United States

A massive amount of Ireland's native population left the island in the 19th century for North America and Australia in hopes of finding more opportunities and an escape from discrimination and oppression. A great portion of these migrants arrived on the eastern shores of the North American continent. Although they were generally poor and destitute, and, therefore, again discriminated against, these Irish people were heartily welcomed for the hard labor involved in the construction of railroads, canals, roadways, and buildings. Many others were put to work in the newly established factories or agricultural projects that were so essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest nations in the world. The Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s initiated the largest wave of Iris immigration. Early North American immigration and passenger lists have revealed a number of people bearing the name Byrnes or a variant listed above:

Byrnes Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Garrett Byrnes, aged 30, who landed in New York in 1801 [2]
  • Mat Byrnes, who arrived in America in 1805 [2]
  • Mathew Byrnes, aged 26, who arrived in New Castle or Philadelphia in 1805 [2]
  • Nicholas Byrnes, who landed in New York, NY in 1810 [2]
  • John Byrnes, who landed in New York, NY in 1810 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Byrnes migration to Canada

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Byrnes Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. John Byrnes U.E. who settled in Prince Edward County, Ontario c. 1783 [3]
Byrnes Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Ann Byrnes, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1800
  • Michael Byrnes, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1829
  • Mary Byrnes, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1830
  • James Byrnes, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1831
  • Edmund Byrnes, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1832
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Byrnes migration to Australia

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

Byrnes Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Ellen Byrnes, aged 17, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Elgin" [4]
  • John Byrnes, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Constance" in 1849 [5]
  • Ellen Byrnes, aged 17, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Elgin" in 1849 [4]
  • William Byrnes, aged 29, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hydaspes" in 1851 [6]
  • William Byrnes, aged 29, a herdsman, who arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Hydaspes" [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Byrnes 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:

Byrnes Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Lizzie Byrnes, aged 19, a servant, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Dunedin" in 1875

Contemporary Notables of the name Byrnes (post 1700)

  • Steven Patrick "Steve" Byrnes (1959-2015), American television announcer and producer
  • John W. Byrnes (1913-1985), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Wisconsin (1945-1973)
  • Thomas F. Byrnes (1842-1910), American gasfitter, firefighter and police officer, New York City Police Inspector (1880-1895)
  • Eugene Francis "Gene" Byrnes (1889-1907), American comic artist, creator of the long-running comic strip Reg'lar Fellers which ran from 1917 to 1949
  • Garrett Byrnes (b. 1971), German-born, American composer
  • Edd Byrnes (b. 1933), born Edward Byrne Breitenberger, an American actor, best known for his starring role in the television series 77 Sunset Strip
  • James F. Byrnes (1882-1972), American politician, U.S. Secretary of State (1945 to 1947), 104th Governor of South Carolina (1951 to 1955)
  • Kevin P. Byrnes (b. 1950), U.S. Army 4-star general
  • Robert L. Byrnes, American fighter pilot and flying ace in the U.S. Army Air Forces, during World War II, credited with 5 aerial victories
  • James Byrnes (1806-1886), Australian politician, two-time Secretary for Public Works
  • ... (Another 3 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

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Citations

  1. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) ELGIN 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Elgin.htm
  5. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) CONSTANCE 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Constance.htm
  6. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) HYDASPES 1851. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1851Hydaspes.htm
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