Beirne Family Crest, Coat of Arms & Beirne Name Origin

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Beirne Family Crest

Beirne Coat of Arms, Family Crest - Click here to view

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Origin of the Name Beirne

The Beirne family history was found in the archives. The Irish names Beirne and O'Beirne are quite distinct from the far more widespread Byrne and O'Byrne. These names are derived from the Gaelic O'Birn sept name, originally O'Beirn, which in turn is taken form the Norse first name Bjorn. When Gaelic names were anglicized during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries they were often changed to Anglo equivalents that sounded most like their original Gaelic name. They were originally located in Counties Mayo and Roscommon and in the thirteenth century combined with the powerful MacDermotts to defeat the O'Monahans, driving them from the lands of Tir Briuin na Sinna between Elphin and Jamestown in Roscommon. Thomas Lewis O'Beirne (1748-1823) caused a controversy by becoming the Protestant Bishop of Meath in the year 1789, despite having been raised as a Catholic. In modern times the names Beirne and O'Beirne are still most associated with their original homeland Counties.
The Beirne coat of arms came into existence centuries ago. The process of creating coats of arms (also often called family crests) began in the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this. The new art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own coat of arms, including all Beirne descendants.
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