The Irish name O'Bruen has evolved from the Gaelic Mac Braoin or O Braoin.
Early Origins of the O'Bruen family
The surname O'Bruen 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 CITATION[CLOSE]
O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
and were an Ossory
sept (Clann) seated near Knocktopher, Kilkenny
, until they had to forfeit their lands by the Anglo Norman invasion
, Earl of Pembroke in 1172. They were subsequently dispersed throughout Ireland.
Early History of the O'Bruen family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Bruen research.Another 369 words (26 lines of text) covering the years 1303, 1324, 1560 and 1625 are included under the topic Early O'Bruen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
O'Bruen Spelling Variations
Within the archives researched, many different spelling variations
of the surname O'Bruen were found. These included One reason for the many variations is that scribes and church officials often spelled an individual's name as it sounded. This imprecise method often led to many versions. Breen, Breene, Brean, Breane, Bruen, Brawney, O'Breen, O'Braoin and many more.
Early Notables of the O'Bruen family (pre 1700)
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O'Bruen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the O'Bruen family to the New World and Oceana
To escape the religious and political discrimination they experienced primarily at the hands of the English, thousands of Irish left their homeland in the 19th century. These migrants typically settled in communities throughout the East Coast of North America, but also joined the wagon trains moving out to the Midwest. Ironically, when the American War of Independence
began, many Irish settlers took the side of England
, and at the war's conclusion moved north to Canada. These United Empire Loyalists, were granted land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula. Other Irish immigrants settled in Newfoundland, the Ottawa Valley, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, however, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine
of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland
at this time for North America and Australia
. Many of those numbers, however, did not live through the long sea passage. These Irish settlers to North America were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. Irish settlers made an inestimable contribution to the building of the New World. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the Irish name O'Bruen or a variant listed above, including: Francis Breen, who was on record in Delaware in 1812; John Breene who settled in New York in 1803; Alice Breen, who sailed from Londonderry
to Philadelphia in 1847.
The O'Bruen 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