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About the study
This study has emerged from a desire to find the truth, if any, in a story I was told in the 1960's. A family member told me that though our family can trace it's roots to Clawinch Island, County Longford, Ireland, long ago Cromwell kicked the Brennans out of Kilkenny, sending one branch of the family to Kerry and the other to Roscommon/Longford.
Braonain from 'braon' meaning tear, sometimes translated from the Irish language as meaning 'of the tears' or 'of the sorrows' It could be said that in fact 'Brennan' is the variant since O Braonain is the older Gaelic name.
In the 1901 Irish Census, 14,673 people are recorded with the surname Brennan (with this exact spelling) on the island of Ireland. National Archives Website
In addition there are 146 people recorded with the name Brenan (exact spelling),
In 1900, the U.S. Census records 20,729 people with the surname Brennan, this includes married women whose maiden name was Brennan.
In England, the 1901 Census records 3,417.
In Scotland, the 1901 Census records 630.
In Wales, the 1901 Census records 91.
Distribution of the name
In alphabetical order by county;
Antrim 415 Armagh 150
Carlow 150 Cavan 566 Clare 95 Cork 361
Donegal 453 Down 199 Dublin 1,557
Kerry 563 Kildare 328 Kilkenny 1,932 King's County 958
Leitrim 109 Limerick 181 Londonderry 99 Longford 120 Louth 260
Mayo 1,005 Meath 182 Monaghan 449
Queen's County 958
Tipperary 352 Tyrone 92
Waterford 120 Westmeath 279 Wexford 477 Wicklow 175
Unsurprisingly, Kilkenny has the largest number of people with the Brennan name (1,932), Dublin is next and Sligo, Roscommon and Mayo follow close behind.
Brennan Castlecomer/Clogh Kilkenny (special thank to Bob Cumberbatch)
Brennan Ballybunion and Abbeydorney County Kerry (thanks to Nan Brennan at rootsweb)
Brennan Laois (thanks to Michael Brennan)
Brennan Glenfad, Donegal (thanks to Roger Mc Donnell)