Show ContentsMcBreen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Irish name McBreen has evolved from the Gaelic Mac Braoin or O Braoin.

Early Origins of the McBreen family

The surname McBreen 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 is descended through the Heremon line and claim to be direct descendants of King Niall of the Nine Hostages. They were known as the Lords of Brawney [1] and were an Ossory sept (Clann) seated near Knocktopher, Kilkenny, until they had to forfeit their lands by the Anglo Norman invasion of Strongbow, Earl of Pembroke in 1172. They were subsequently dispersed throughout Ireland.

Early History of the McBreen family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McBreen research. Another 185 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1303, 1324, 1560 and 1625 are included under the topic Early McBreen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McBreen Spelling Variations

Irish names were rarely spelled consistently in the Middle Ages. Spelling variations of the name McBreen dating from that time include Breen, Breene, Brean, Breane, Bruen, Brawney, O'Breen, O'Braoin and many more.

Early Notables of the McBreen family

Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McBreen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Canada McBreen migration to Canada +

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 McBreen:

McBreen Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mary McBreen, aged 21, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the ship "Edwin" from Dublin, Ireland
  • Rose McBreen, aged 23, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the ship "Edwin" from Dublin, Ireland

Australia McBreen migration to Australia +

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

McBreen Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Patrick Mcbreen, (Brennan, McBrien), (b. 1810), aged 21, Irish weaver who was convicted in Cavan, Ireland for life for stealing, transported aboard the "Captain Cook" on 5th November 1831, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1870 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name McBreen (post 1700) +

  • Tom McBreen (1952-1972), American bronze medalist swimmer at the 1972 Summer Olympics
  • T. C. McBreen, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Kansas, 1888 [3]
  • Daniel McBreen (b. 1977), English football striker
  • Chris McBreen (b. 1972), New Zealand snooker player

The McBreen 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: Comnac an Ceane
Motto Translation: Fight for Right

  1. O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
  2. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th December 2020). Retrieved from
  3. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 14) . Retrieved from on Facebook