Broderick (Irish Ó Bruadair,) Also O'Broderick
The surname Broderick has two distinct origins, one Irish, and one Welsh. In Ireland, it is an Anglicised form of Ó Bruadair, son/descendant of Bruadar. This was thought to derive from a Norse personal name, Brodir, which means 'brother', but some sources state that this is not the case, with Brodir not being a proper Norse name, Bruttar mac Aidir was an Irish princeling, from the south-east of Ireland, whose name was recorded in 853.
A few centuries later, in the 11th century, the Danes Brodir of Man, and his brother, Ospak of Man, were active in the Isle of Man (an island between England and Ireland) and Ireland. Brodir and Ospak fought on opposite sides in the Battle of Clontarf. Brodar Mac Turcaill was king of Dublin in the late 12th century, dying in 1160.
The Bruadairs had several distinct septs. The U Bruadair had close links with the ancient kingdom of Ossory, notably Ui nEirc (Iverk), Broderick is also recorded as being O'Broder. This name was possibly recorded in a wide number of variations, including Bruder, Brother, and Brothers.
The noted Irish poet David O Bruadair (Dáibhí Ó Bruadair 1625 - January 1698) is said by some sources to have been from a sept based in Buckleymore, County Cork. However, he was born in a location where Brodericks were widely recorded, and where the name is widely recorded to this day, Limerick.
The emblem of the Broderick family
One Broderick coat of arms is described as the following: A shield divided per black and pale red, on a fess between three gold griffins' heads as many lozenges ermines. On the crest, a black demi-greyhound holding in the paws a red dart feathered silver.
The Broderick family motto
A war-cry, 'A cuspide corona', 'By spear, a crown'
Broderick - the Welsh surname
If you are of Welsh descent, your Broderick surname may well be from a completely different origin. Like Ireland and Scotland, and modern day Iceland, Welsh surnames were recorded as 'son of' (ap) and 'daughter of' (mab). So ap Rhyderch and ap Roderick became, among other names, Broderick. This 'ap to B' naming convention explains the large number of Welsh surnames beginning with P and B, Prothero and Prydderch being Welsh names which share the same origin as Broderick.
- The jockey Paddy Broderick, born Westmeath. 1939, associated with one of the greatest National Hunt horses of all time, Peter Easterby's multi-champion hurdler Night Nurse.
- The TD Sean Broderick (1890 -1953) represented Galway and Galway East in the Dail for many years.
- Hurler Kevin Broderick (born May 1977) is another Broderick with close Galway links.
- Further afield, brothers Ken and Len Broderick played top-level ice-hockey in Canada in the same position, goaltender.
- In the arts, British sculptor Lawrence Broderick created the iconic 'Bull' sculpture in Birmingham's Bull Ring.
- Pat Broderick (b. 1953) is a noted comic book artist, particularly for Marvel and DC Comics.
- American actor Matthew Broderick (aka Ferris Bueller in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off") is possibly one of the best known Brodericks in exile.
There is often limited information available on a specific coat of arms and motto for an Irish surname. Sometimes there are many variations, sometimes none, we have compiled a representative, but by no means exhaustive, selection. Please visit our Coat of Arms and Motto page for more information.
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