Breen / Family History
The ancient origin of the name Breen
was found in the irishsurnames.com archives. The name Breen is of Irish descent and is found widely throughout Ireland. The original forms of this Gaelic name were MacBraoin and O'Braoin but both have been anglicized as Breen. The most important sept of the name in mediaeval times was that which possessed a territory in Counties Westmeath and Offaly, near Athlone. Their Chief was Lord of Brawney.
A sept or clan is a collective term describing a group of persons whose immediate ancestors bore a common surname and inhabited the same territory. It is also the case that many Irish septs or clans that are related often belong to a larger groups, sometimes called tribes. For example the 'Tribes of Galway' consisted of fourteen distinct families. The 'Tribes of Kilkenny' were ten families, etc.
As late as 1421 O'Breen of Brawney is mentioned as one of the great Chieftains of Ireland. The infamous Jemmy O'Brien of 1798 was an O'Breen, not an O'Brien of Thomond. The most famous of the name was Dan Breen who was a prominent figure on the Irish side during the War of Independence, 1919-1922.The Breen
family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Breen