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O'Brien Name Study

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Surname/tag: O'Brien
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All categories can be found here: https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Category:O'Brien_Name_Study


How to Join

Please post a comment to the right. If you have any questions, just ask. Thanks!


This is a One Name Study to collect together in one place everything about one surname and the variants of that name. The hope is that other researchers like you will join our study to help make it a valuable reference point for people studying lines that cross or intersect. Please contact the project leader, add categories to your profiles, add your questions to the bulletin board, add details of your name research, etc.


  1. To find famous Obrien Profiles or add them from list below
  2. To add your own lines to the study

Meaning and Origin

This Surname has been changed often over time, although te original name spelling was Obriain. They were originally the clan of the Dalcassians, known as Ui Toirdealhaigh, both names identifying particular ancestors from whom they descended.

The most prominent of them was Brian Boru(941-1014) , who became High King of Ireland and fought a great war against Ireland's viking invaders.


Name Variations

  • Obrien
  • Brian
  • Obriain
  • Obrynes
  • Obrian

Coat Of Arms

This Coat Of Arms is unusual because, apart from the lions rear-ends, they are identical with the royal arms of England. Originally, so it has been told the lions were all gold, but in the time of Henry VIII, the Obrien family were given a choice of altering or losing them.

The family decided to alter them to gold and silver being a mark of royalty.

Famous Obriens

  • William Obrien(1852-1928. Irish nationalist, journalist,and social revolutionary
  • George Obrien(1899-1985}American Actor from silent movies era and into the talkie era
  • Kate Obrien(1897-1974, Irish novelist, and playeright
  • Edna Obrien(1932) , Irish novelist and short story writer
  • Fergal Obrien(1972(Irish professional snooker player
  • Dara Obriain(1973), Irish comedian


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Comments: 13

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Hello. My great great grandfather was

John [middle name?] O'Brien Born about 1827 [uncertain] in Doneraile, County Cork, Ireland Died 31 Jul 1919 in Tilden, Antelope, Nebraska, United States

If I am part of your tree then I'd like to join. Please look over my tree. Thanks.

posted by Terry O'Brien
There are many O'Brien's in Australia - my maternal grandfather was a John O'Brien of Young NSW, whose father was James O'Brien. Whether he was born in Australia or came to Australia, I do not yet know. James wife was born in Wales, and I am aware many Irish crossed the sea to Wales and England. I would like to join the project, to contribute what I can and to learn more of my ancestors.
posted by Tom Stubbs
Hi, I would like to join. My brick wall is my 3rd great grandfather Daniel O’Brien from Tiermclane, County Clare, Ireland. I am trying to fond his parents Bryan & Mary O’Bryan and his siblings information.Thanks!
posted by Susan Stone
Hi. I would like to join. My grandfather was an O'brien from Ireland.
posted by Tara Drabble
I am trying to work on the O’Brien branch of my family tree and would like to join. My grandmother was Born Nancy Lee O’Brien to Ransom M and Helen B.
My great-grandmother was Estella O'Brien. Her grandfather Patrick was born in 1789 in Limerick, Ireland. Since Estella only had one child, my grandfather James Frederick Webb, I don't have too many close relatives searching for the OBriens.
posted by Linda (Welch) Kurth
All are welcome! This is not very formally organized. I established it on the principal of mutual aid and collaboration, but unfortunately I don't have any special knowledge of sources in Ireland.
posted by Michael Maranda
I would like to join. I have a John (O'Brien-7585) born in Tipperary, Ireland in about 1802. John and his wife Bridget Flannery immigrated to Canada sometime in the mid-1880's where I can follow a pretty good descendants trail to the present, to my children. Have no clue how to find records about John and Bridget and their ancestors in Ireland.
posted by Mattie Coutts
My maternal 2nd great grandmother was Alice O'Brien who married Patrick Green. Death certificate indicates father was James O'brien. All born in Ireland, but not sure where. Possibly Ulster area. Would love to find more ancestors in this line and know more about them.

Dianne K. Perry

posted by Dianne Perry Ph.D.
I have seen many iterations of the name O'Brien ie o'Brien, Brien
posted by [Living Higgins]
my o'briens are mainly from dungarvan, waterford
Did you mean to create O'brien or is O'Brien what you meant?
posted by Liz (Noland) Shifflett
I have a Patrick O'Brien born about 1833 in Ballyveloge, Limerick, Ireland (Patrickswell, Ballyvalogue) who married Johanna Connel in Ballyvalogue, Limerick, Ireland in 1857. They had my Great Grandfather, William James O'Brien in 1865 and he moved to Co Down. I dont know anything else about the O'Briens from this area so some help would be great!
posted by Sharon Eaton