The old Gaelic name used by the O'Briant family in Ireland
was O Briain, which means descendant of Brian.
Early Origins of the O'Briant family
The surname O'Briant was first found in Thomond
, a territory comprised of most of County Clare
with adjacent parts of counties Limerick
. Prior to the 10th century, the sept was a Dalcassian Clan
known as the Ui Toirdealbhaigh and achieved prominence with the rise of their eponymous ancestor, Brian Boru (941-1014), to the High Kingship of Ireland
. Brian Boru, by far the most outstanding figure of this family, is widely acknowledged as the greatest of all the ancient Kings of Ireland
and is best remembered for driving the Norsemen out of Ireland
at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014.
Early History of the O'Briant family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Briant research.Another 187 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1551, 1369, 1400, 1577, 1663, 1690, 1614, 1674, 1642, 1678, 1640, 1692, 1699, 1771, 1600, 1651, 1642, 1717, 1692 and 1714 are included under the topic Early O'Briant History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
O'Briant Spelling Variations
The recording of names in Ireland
in the Middle Ages was an inconsistent endeavor at best. The standardized literary languages of today were not yet reached. Research into the name O'Briant revealed spelling variations
, including O'Brien, OBrine, O'Brion, O'Bryan, O'Bryen, McBrien, McBrine, Brian, Briand, Briant, Brine, Brines, Briens and many more.
Early Notables of the O'Briant family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family name at this time was Brian Sreamhach MacMathghamhna O'Brien, king of the Irish region of Thomond
(1369-1400); Daniel O'Brien (1577-1663), member of the Supreme Council of Catholic Confederates; Daniel O'Brien (d. 1690), founder of the Irish Brigade known as Clare's Dragoons; Murrough McDermod O'Brien, 1st Earl of Inchiquin and 6th Baron
Inchiquin (1614-1674); Henry O'Brien, Lord Ibrackan or Lord... Another 63 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O'Briant Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the O'Briant family to the New World and Oceana
began leaving their homeland for North America in the late 18th century. These families were usually modestly well off, but they were looking forward to owning and working on a sizable tract of land of their own. This pattern of emigration continued until the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine
sparked a major exodus of destitute and desperate Irish people. These people were not leaving for a grant of land in North America because by this time the East Coast had reached its saturation point and free land was scarce. They were merely looking to escape the disease, starvation, and hopelessness that Ireland
had fallen into. Although these unfortunate immigrants did not receive a warm welcome by the established populations in the United States and what would become Canada, they were absolutely critical to the rapid development that these two nations enjoyed. They would help populate the western lands and provide the cheap labor required for a rapid industrialization. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has revealed many early bearers of the name O'Briant or one of its variants: Archibald O'Brian settled in Virginia in 1773.
Contemporary Notables of the name O'Briant (post 1700)
- Jason M O'Briant, American Director of the Didactic Program in Dietetics at North Carolina Central University
- Henry E. O'Briant III, American cinematographer, best known for his work on Forest Gump (1994)
- Erin O'Briant, American English professor at the City College of San Francisco
- Susan Manning O'Briant, American painter
The O'Briant 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: Lamh laidir an Uachtar
Motto Translation: The strong hand from above.
O'Briant Family Crest Products