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> O'Brennan, Irish
Posted: 18-Dec-2011, 11:30 PM
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Background: Transferred use of the surname, which is from the Irish O'Brennan, the Anglicized form of the Gaelic Ó Braonáin (descendant of Braoin). Braoin is a Gaelic name meaning “sorrow, saddness.” Brennan is also an English surname and is evolved from the Old English Burnand (burned hand). The name makes reference to the medieval practice of burning the hands of those caught breaking the law.

The O'Brennans held lands in Mao Crehan's territory, and also under the O'Sullivans of Bally macgilleneulan. They are said to have been a branch of the well-known Kilkenny clan of that name, and to have come into Kerry in comparatively recent times. The parish of O'Brennan in Trughanacmy received its name from them, according to the editor of the History of Kerry published in the Journal of the Cork achaeological Society.

Variations: Brennan, O'Brennan, O'Brennen, McBrennan, Brannon, Brannan, Brannen, Brannin, Brennyn, MacBrennan, Brenan, Branan, Branen, Ua Braonain, O'Broenain, Braenan, Braoin.

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Wallace MacArthur
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