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Surname:  MacBrady
Branch:  MacBrady
Origins:  Irish
More Info:  Ireland

Background:  The name Brady in Ireland is derived from the Irish name Mac Bradaigh meaning 'spirited'. So the anglicised form should be MacBrady, the prefix Mac, however, has seldom if ever been used in modern times; the modern use of the prefix O instead of Mac with this name is erroneous. This Sept was based in County Cavan. A County Clare branch of the O'Gradaigh (O'Grady) Sept changed their name to Brady in the sixteenth century to identify themselves with the English cause.

Motto:  Claritate dextra, The right hand is clear.
Arms:  Sable, in the sinister base, a dexter hand, couped at the wrist proper, pointing with the index finger to a sun in its splendour in dexter chief or.
Crest:  A Cherub proper, wings or.

View the Heraldry Dictionary for help.

In Irish the name Brady is Mac Bradaigh so that it should correctly be MacBrady in the anglicized form; the prefix Mac, however, has seldom if ever been used in modern times; the modern use of the prefix O instead of Mac with this name is erroneous. The MacBradys were a powerful sept belonging to Breffny, their chief holding sway over a territory lying a few miles east of Cavan town. The Four Masters record many illustrious chiefs of the name there. The historian Abbe MacGeoghegan says that the MacBradys are a branch of the O'Carrolls of Calry, Co. Leitrim, a statement which has been often repeated, but modern authorities refute this. In any caste they have always been pre-eminently associated with Co. Cavan; and it is in Co. Cavan and adjacent areas the Bradys are mostly found to-day. They are indeed very numerous in Ireland with an estimated population of nearly 10,000 persons so called. A number of families of Brady are also to be found in the district around the village of Tuamgraney, Co. Clare. These are in fact not truly Bradys at all but O'Gradys, of the same family as O'Grady of Kilballyowen, Co. Limerick (see O'Grady, below): from the time of Henry VIII onwards these O'Gradys identified themselves with the English cause: for that reason, perhaps, they adopted the form Brady instead of Grady. The first Protestant Bishop of Meath, for example, was Hugh Brady, a Clareman, son of Donough O'Grady. The Limerick branch, on the other hand, having been Brady for a generation or two, reverted to the correct form O'Grady. All the Bradys who have distinguished themselves in the cultural and political history of Ireland were from Co. Cavan. The most notable of these are Fiachra MacBrady (fl. 1710), and Rev. Philip MacBrady (d. 1719), both Gaelic poets, the latter of whom became a Protestant clergyman and was very popular with the people of Co. Cavan, perhaps because he satirized his colleagues. In this category we may also place Phelim Brady (fl. 1710), usually referred to as "bold Phelim Brady the bard of Armagh". Thomas Brady (1752-1827), a farmer's son from Cootehill, Co. Cavan, became a Field Marshal in the Austrian service; another who was prominent in military service outside Ireland was Michael Brady: he was executed for his part in the service of the "Young Pretender" in 1745. In the ecclesiastical sphere Gilbert MacBrady was Bishop of Ardagh from 1396 to 1400; and three MacBradys were bishops of Kilmore in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries: in 1580 John MacBrady was succeeded in the same see by Richard Brady a distinguished Franciscan. Andrew MacBrady in 1454 was the first bishop of Kilmore to provide a cathedral church for the diocese. A Catholic descendant of Hugh Brady, first Protestant Bishop of Meath, Edwin James Brady (1869-1952), had an adventurous life in many lands and was the author of some fine sea ballads. He was born at Carcour, New South Wales. Apart from the Gaelic poets the most important literary man of the name was William Maziere Brady (1825-1894), author of Episcopal Succession in England, Scotland and Ireland.

Name Variations:  Brady, Braidy, Bradie, Braidie, Braydy, Braydie, Bradigan, O'Bradigan, O'Brady, Grady, Graidy, Gradie, Graidie, Graydy, Graydie, O'Grady, MacBrady.

One or more of the following publications has been referenced for this article.
The General Armory; Sir Bernard Burke - 1842.
A Handbook of Mottoes; C.N. Elvin - 1860.
Irish Families, Their Names, Arms & Origins; Edward MacLysaght - 1957.
The Surnames of Ireland; Edward MacLynsaght - 1957.
Wikipedia Encyclopedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brady

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