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Irish Surname - Byrne

Usually recorded as Byrne, and sometimes as O'Byrne, this is a variant of the Irish 'Ó'Broin', meaning descendants of/from Branach or Bran, meaning "raven".

The Byrne or O'Byrne (Ó Broin) family originally came from Kildare claiming descent from Bran, the king of Leinster, who died in 1052. They held extensive territory there until the Anglo-Normans arrived in 1169/70, when they were driven south to the Wicklow mountains between Rathdrum and Shillelagh. The Byrne surname is still very common in Wicklow, as well as Dublin and Louth.

The O'Broin clan strongly resisted foreign aggression and continued to inaugurate native chiefs up to the end of the 16th Century. Their chiefs resided at Ballinacor in County Wicklow, and their territory was known as Crioch Branach. The O'Broins were renowned in the military history of Ireland, the most famous being Fiacha MacHugh O'Byrne (1544-1597) who is best remembered for his part in the escape of Hugh Roe O'Donnell from his prison in Dublin Castle in 1591.

The "Book of the O' Byrnes" ("Leabhar Branach") is a collection of Gaelic poetry detailing the exploits and personalities of the O'Byrnes in the sixteenth century.

Byrnes In Griffiths Valuation

Griffiths Valuation c1850s, Wicklow had 1203 recorded households with the name and the next largest concentrations were in Dublin (893), Carlow (572) and Wexford (534), while the smallest amount were in Derry (9).

Famous People with the Byrne Surname

Byrne Family Crest

The Byrne coat of arms has the blazon of a red shield charged with a chevron between three silver dexter hands couped at the wrist, the Crest being a mermaid with comb and mirror proper.

The Byrne Motto

Certavi et Vici - "I have fought and conquered".

Alternate Byrne Surname Spellings

O'Byrne, O'Beirne, O'Berne, Berne, Beirne

Please Note

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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