Many variations of the name O'Brenen have evolved since the time of its initial creation. In Gaelic it appeared as "O Braondin," from the word "braon," which has several meanings, possibly meaning "sorrow" in this case.
Early Origins of the O'Brenen family
The surname O'Brenen 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 claim descent from Braonan, an Irish Prince, brother of Ceallach, 17th King of Ossory
. Braonan later became the King of Ossory
, and also King of the Danes of Dublin
, and was known as the Prince of Idough. His son, Conglach, in a dispute over the throne of Ossory, was killed near Three Castles, County Kilkenny
. At this point in time the Brennans were in conflict with Brian Boru (1014), and most historians believe that the family was on the wrong side as allies of the Danish King. After Clontarf, they retained only the principality of Idough, but Anne, daughter of Guidhelgedh, three generations later, married the King of Ossory
(Donogh), and the title was still extant even after the Anglo Norman invasion
Early History of the O'Brenen family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Brenen research.Another 247 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1395, 1520, 1600, 1832, 1625, 1693, 1768, 1830 and 1794 are included under the topic Early O'Brenen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
O'Brenen 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 O'Brenen were encountered in the archives: Brennan, McBrennan, Brannon, Brannan, Brannen, Brannin, Brennyn, Brannyn, MacBrennan, Brenan, Branon, Branan, Branen and many more.
Early Notables of the O'Brenen family (pre 1700)
Notable among the family name at this time was Sir Art O'Brennan of Castlecomer Castle; Most Rev. John Brennan (1625-1693), Bishop of Waterford
and Archbishop of Cashel; John Brennan (1768-1830)... Another 29 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O'Brenen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the O'Brenen family to the New World and Oceana
A great mass of Ireland's native population left the island in the 19th century, seeking relief from various forms of social, religious, and economic discrimination. This Irish exodus was primarily to North America. If the migrants survived the long ocean journey, many unfortunately would find more discrimination in the colonies of British North America and the fledgling United States of America. These newly arrived Irish were, however, wanted as a cheap source of labor for the many large agricultural and industrial projects that were essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest nations in the western world. Early immigration and passenger lists indicate many people bearing the O'Brenen name: James Brennan, a bonded passenger, who arrived in Potomac in 1731;Timothy Branen who settled in Placentia, Newfoundland, in 1744; Laurence Brennan, on record as a laborer in St. John's Newfoundland in 1779.