Motto: Certavi et Vici
"I have fought and conquered"
O'Byrne Genealogy Site
A very brief history of the O'Byrne Clan
My Genealogical Search,How I started, and went about tracing my family tree
Some Genealogical resourcesIncluding links to help you trace your own family tree
A collection of O'Byrnes on
Research Paper 1The Byrnes of Ballymanus
Research Paper 4
Battle of Glenmalure
Causes and course
The new Stewart King, James I, who took the throne after Elizabeth's death in
1603 was intent on enforcing strict English control. This included forcing all
of Ireland to abandon Gaelic language, customs and law and replacing them with
those from England. In order to preserve their control over Ireland,
England destroyed the Clann system. Chiefs no longer served the same function as
leaders, and all of the Irish Clans ceased to inaugurate their Chiefs by the
early Seventeenth Century. Clan owned lands were forfeited and given to
English and Scots.
Since the time of Feagh, several O'Byrnes have made it into the history books however; Billy Byrne, Garrett Byrne, Oliver Byrne, and Alfie Byrne, a much loved past Lord Mayor of Dublin City to name a few, and perhaps in the future, . . me!In the period after the battle of Kinsale the O'Byrne surname became increasingly associated with the
variant, 'Byrne' and to a much lesser extent 'Byrnes' The surnames Burn and Burns are not as common in Ireland, they frequently being
associated with past misrepresentations of the Byrne name at times of hardship leading to lodging in workhouses or emigration.
The surnames Beirne and O'Beirne are not related to the O'Byrne clan, and in Ireland this name is mostly found in the west. To find out more about O'Beirne take a look at The (O') Beirne World Page
or try or
contact Sean O'Beirne
The O'Byrne surname is still very common in Wicklow and Kildare.
Books that may interest:
War, Politics and the
Irish of Leinster 1156-1606 by Emmet O'Byrne;308 pages, Four Courts Press, 2003,
The Clan O'Byrne of
Leinster AD 600-1700 by Paul J. Burns;61 pages, House of Lochar, 2003, ISBN
"Feagh McHugh O'Byrne:
The Wicklow Firebrand", Journal of Rathdrum Historical Society vol 1, 280p ill.
maps, ISBN 0953482502.
Field work on the parental side of my family tree pointed at an early stage to Wicklow, where Byrne or O'Byrne are the most common surnames. I
knew it would not be easy. The most useful information from my father was details of cousins who lived in Arklow, County Wicklow. I met
by chance people in Arklow who knew this family and were able to tell me about their relatives and ancestors. As I made contact with families
that were related in turn to my father's cousins I obtained information of the wider family relationships. In Wicklow there is a widespread
awareness how the various O'Byrne families in Wicklow are related.
The different families are distinguished by 'nicknames' that relate to where they were originally from or some other characteristic. Through
field-work I have even encountered relatives of my father's cousins in Arklow who are my third cousins who have indicated that I bear a resemblance to members
of their families. I also encountered in the Autumn of 2000 totally by chance a man aged 96 who knew a young man who in 1914 went to fight in World War
1 and was killed. This was most likely an uncle of my father after whom my father was named.
The field work is on-going. It unlikely that the information uncovered could have been obtained any other way. The welcome and
assistance I have received in Wicklow in following the trail of my family has been amazing.
Go back to the Top of the Page
Try to get a look at "Clan O'Byrne of Leinster AD
400 - 1700" by Paul J. Burns ISBN 1 899863 83 4
To be revised from time to time
If you find more about Irish Genealogy or the O'Byrnes, and think I should include it here, please let me know! e-mail N. O'Byrne
An assessment from Doras. (Must try to get 4 someday!)
Thank you for visiting
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