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Branagh Coat of Arms / Branagh Family Crest

Branagh Coat of Arms / Branagh Family Crest

The surname of BRANAGH which is of Irish origin was derived from the Anglicized form of the Gaelic O'Branduibh, a name meaning the descendant of Breathnach (a Briton). The name was spelt as Breithneach in counties Donegal and Ulster. When the sparse Irish population began to increase it became necessary to broaden the base of personal identification by moving from single names to a more definite nomenclature. The prefix MAC was given to the father's christian name, or O to that of a grandfather or even earlier ancestor. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. The name was taken into Scotland by settlers at the time of the Anglo-Norman Invasion of 1066. The name has variant spellings which include BRENNOCK, BRANNOCK, BRENNACH and BRAWNICK. Andrew Brenock and John Brenock are on record in Barnbaroch in the year 1684. Surnames as we know them today were first assumed in Europe from the 11th to the 15th Century. The employment in the use of a second name was a custom that was first introduced from the Normans. They themselves had not long before adopted them. It became, in course of time, a mark of gentler blood, and it was deemed a disgrace for gentlemen to have but one single name, as the meaner sort had. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing and draped garment worn over the armour. A notable member of the name is Kenneth BRANAGH, born in 1960, the Irish actor and director. He moved to England with his family, studied at RADA and went straight to the West End playing in 'Another Country'. In 1984 he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, appearing in the title role of Henry V, as Laertes in Hamlet. In 1987 he co-founded and became director of the Renaissance Theatre Company.


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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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