| Background: O'Rourke comes from the Irish "O Ruairc", from Ruarc, a personal name derived from the Old Norse Hrothekr, meaning 'famous king'. The O'Rourkes were of the same stock as the O'Connors of Connacht, part of the large tribal grouping of the Ui Briain, claiming common descent from Brion, a fifth-century King of Connacht.
The main stronghold of the family was at Dromahair, on the shores of Lough Gill in Co Leitrim. In common with most of the other ruling families of Gaelic Ireland, the O'Rourkes lost all of their possessions in the great upheavals of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Variations: O'Rorke, Rorke, O'Rourke, Rourke, Roark, Ruark
More Info: http://heraldry.celticradio.net/search.php?id=77
Discussion of this family is welcomed.