The old Gaelic name used by the O'Briyn family in Ireland
was O Briain, which means descendant of Brian.
Early Origins of the O'Briyn family
The surname O'Briyn 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'Briyn family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Briyn research.Another 373 words (27 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'Briyn History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
O'Briyn Spelling Variations
The general population of Ireland
, like those of Europe and Britain during the Middle Ages, scribes recorded people's names as they saw fit. As a result, surnames often had many spelling variations
. For O'Briyn some of these variations included: 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'Briyn 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... Another 75 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O'Briyn Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the O'Briyn family to the New World and Oceana
The 18th and 19th centuries saw many Irish families
immigrate to North America in search of land and opportunities. The largest influx of Irish immigrants to the United States and British North America came during the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine
laid waste to their homeland. Hundreds of thousands left the island in an attempt to escape the starvation and disease it brought. Although the arrival of such a large number of destitute Irish was not welcomed by the established population in the United States and what would become known as Canada at the time, these Irish were an essential element to the rapid development of these growing industrial nations. They filled the demand for the cheap labor needed for the work in factories and in the construction of bridges, roads, canals, and railways. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has revealed many immigrants bearing the name of O'Briyn or one of its variants: Archibald O'Brian settled in Virginia in 1773.
The O'Briyn 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.