The surname derives from the Irish MacBradnigh
coming possibly from bradach meaning
'thieving' or 'dishonest'. The name remains very numerous in Co. Cavan their original homeland with large
numbers also to be found in the adjoining country of Monaghan. Their power was centered on an area
a few miles east of Cavan, from where they held jurisdiction over a large territory within the
old Gaelic kingdom of Breifne. There have been many notable poets, clergyman and soldiers of the
name including Thomas Brady (1752-1827), a field marshal in the Austrian army, the satirical
Gaelic poet Rev . Philip MacBrady, as well as three MacBrady, Bishops of Kilmore and one MacBrady
Bishop of Ardagh. The pre-Reformation Cavan Crozier originally belonging to one of these
MacBradys is now to be found in the National Museum in Dublin.
The Mac Bradys were a prominent clan
in Breifne. They held jurisdiction over territory to the east of Cavan
The name Brady is very common in
Cavan today with large numbers also in the adjoining Co. Monaghan.
There are also a number of Brady families in East Clare but these
originated from the "O'Grady" family who changed their
name to the more English sounding Brady at the time of Henry VIII.
In the 18th century three MacBradys
distinguished themselves as Gaelic poets. They were Fiachra MacBrady
, Rev. Philip MacBrady (d. 1719) and Phelim Brady, usually referred
to as "bold Phelim Brady the bard of Armagh".
Gilbert MacBrady was Bishop of Ardagh
from 1396 to 1400 and there were three MacBrady bishops of Kilmore
in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
Andrew MacBrady in 1454 as bishop of
Kilmore provided a cathedral church for the diocese. The
pre-reformation Cavan crozier belonging to one of the MacBradys is
now in the National Museum in Dublin.
Thomas Brady (1752-1827), son of a
Cootehill farmer, became a field marshal in the Austrian army.
William Maziare Brady (1825-1894) was
the author of "Episcopal Succession in England, Scotland, and
Anthony Nicholas Brady (1843-1913)
was an Irish-American who made a fortune in railroads and electric
lighting companies in Albany and Brooklyn. His empire included the
Municipal Gas Co. of Albany and New York Edison Co. and other power
companies in Brooklyn, Memphis and Chicago. He was on the board of
directors of Westinghouse Electric, American Tobacco, U.S. Rubber
and 30 other corporations. On his death in 1913 he left an estate of
100 million dollars.
His son Nicholas married Genevieve
Garvan, sister of the famous detective Francis P. Garvan. The couple
devoted much of their time and money to the Catholic Church. They
were friends and sponsors of Francis J. Spellman who became
Archbishop of New York and Cardinal. Mrs. Brady received the title
"Dame of Malta" in 1927 and became known as the Duchess
Clan Donald connection: Only
those from Islay & Kintyre and must originally been O'Brolachain.
About 37% of all Brady's are Scots. Brady's not of Clan Donald may
be from Dundee, Dunblane, Berwick or Edinburgh.