O'Beirne History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Irish name O'Beirne was originally written in a Gaelic form as O Birn or O Beirn, from the Norse forename Bjorn.

Early Origins of the O'Beirne family

The surname O'Beirne was first found in Connacht (Irish: Connachta, (land of the) descendants of Conn), where they held a family seat from ancient times.

Early History of the O'Beirne family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Beirne research. Another 162 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1747, 1748, 1789, 1812, 1823, 1850, 1853, and 1887 are included under the topic Early O'Beirne History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

O'Beirne Spelling Variations

Those scribes in Ireland during the Middle Ages recorded names as they sounded. Consequently, in this era many people were recorded under different spellings each time their name was written down. Research on the O'Beirne family name revealed numerous spelling variations, including Bierne, O'Bierne, Biern, O'Biern, Beirne, O'Beirne, Beirn, O'Beirn, Birn, O'Birn, Birne and many more.

Early Notables of the O'Beirne family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early O'Beirne Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States O'Beirne migration to the United States +

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 O'Beirne family in North America:

O'Beirne Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas OBeirne, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1849 [1]
O'Beirne Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • George O'Beirne, aged 41, who arrived in New York in 1919 aboard the ship "Mexico" from Havana, Cuba [2]
  • Lellie O'Beirne, aged 34, who arrived in New York in 1919 aboard the ship "Mexico" from Havana, Cuba [3]

New Zealand O'Beirne 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:

O'Beirne Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Patrick O'Beirne (Brien), (b. 1804), aged 43, Irish settler arriving as Detachment of the Royal New Zealand Fencibles travelling aboard the ship "Sir Robert Sale" from Gravesend via Cork arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 11th October 1847 [4]
  • Mrs. Ellen O'Beirne (Brien) Née Hennesey, Irish settler travelling aboard the ship "Sir Robert Sale" from Gravesend via Cork arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 11th October 1847 [4]
  • Mr. William O'Beirne (Brien), (b. 1837), aged 10, Irish settler travelling aboard the ship "Sir Robert Sale" from Gravesend via Cork arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 11th October 1847 [4]
  • Child O'Beirne (Brien), Irish settler travelling aboard the ship "Sir Robert Sale" from Gravesend via Cork arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 11th October 1847 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name O'Beirne (post 1700) +

  • Paul O'Beirne, American saxophonist, known by the pseudonym Apollo 9
  • Kate Walsh O'Beirne (1949-2017), born Kate Walsh, American editor of National Review, known for her column "Bread and Circuses"
  • Francis O'Beirne (1833-1899), Irish Home Rule League politician, Member of Parliament for Leitrim (1876-1885)
  • James Lyster O'Beirne (1820-1895), Irish Liberal politician, Member of Parliament for Cashel (1865-1869)
  • Kathleen Elizabeth "Kathy" O'Beirne (b. 1956), Irish author, best known for her controversial memoir, Kathy's Story, the most successful non-fiction book published by an Irish author
  • The Right Reverend Thomas Lewis O'Beirne (1749-1823), Irish Anglican prelate, Bishop of Ossory (1795-1798), Bishop of Meath (1798-1823)
  • Francis "Frank" O'Beirne (1898-1978), Irish farmer, businessman, Irish Republican activist
  • Patrick Joseph O'Beirne (1900-1980), Irish professional footballer
  • Gerry O'Beirne, Irish musician, producer, and songwriter
  • Eugene Francis O'Beirne, Canadian explorer with William Wentworth-FitzWilliam and Walter Butler Cheadle's expedition over the Yellowhead Pass, eponym of Mount O'Beirne, on the border of Alberta and British Columbia


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J6WD-K6X : 6 December 2014), George O'Beirne, 16 Oct 1919; citing departure port Havana, Cuba, arrival port New York, ship name Mexico, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  3. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J6WD-K6F : 6 December 2014), Lellie O'Beirne, 16 Oct 1919; citing departure port Havana, Cuba, arrival port New York, ship name Mexico, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  4. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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