History of your Surname
Get access to O'brien family records.Start a free trial

O'brien Family History

O'brien Name Meaning

Irish: Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Briain ‘descendant of Brian’, a personal name probably based on the element bre- ‘hill’, with the transferred sense ‘eminence’, i.e. ‘exalted one’. See also Bryan. In Ireland there has also been some confusion with O’Byrne (see Byrne).

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press


Similar surnames: Mcbrien, Brian, Mcbreen, O'quinn, O'beirne, Breen, Brien, O'banion

Search for a relative to learn more about your family history.

Hint: Try searching for a relative alive in 1940.

Black & white image of a young woman scientist

Where is the O'brien family from?

You can see how O'brien families moved over time by selecting different census years. The O'brien family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1841 and 1920. The most O'brien families were found in the USA in 1880. In 1911 there were 59 O'brien families living in Ontario. This was about 60% of all the recorded O'brien's in Canada. Ontario had the highest population of O'brien families in 1911.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the O'brien surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your O'brien ancestors do for a living?

Census records can tell you a lot of little known facts about your O'brien ancestors, such as occupation. Occupation can tell you about your ancestor's social and economic status.

View

What O'brien family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 1 million census records available for the last name O'brien. Like a window into their day-to-day life, O'brien census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search Canadian census records for O'brien

Passenger Lists

There are 199,000 immigration records available for the last name O'brien. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in Canada, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

View all O'brien immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 183,000 military records available for the last name O'brien. For the veterans among your O'brien ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all O'brien military records

You've only scratched the surface of O'brien family history.

Discover More

What is the average O'brien lifespan?

Between 1991 and 2004, in the United States, O'brien life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1993, and highest in 1991. The average life expectancy for O'brien in 1991 was 71, and 61 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for O'brien

Discover the unique achievements of ancestors in the O'brien family tree

Explore Your Tree
Search for another surname
Start a 14-Day Free Trial