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BIRNEY Family HistoryThis name is of Scottish locational origin from a place thus called in the former county of Morays (now part of the Grampian region). Recorded in the 13th century as Brennath, the name is believed to derive from the Gaelic 'broanach' meaning a damp or misty place. The final element 'ath' may also, mean a 'ford'. The surname is first recorded in the latter half of the 13th century (see below). One Andrew de (of) Brenach was clerk to Sir Dovenald Earl of Mar in 1291 - Calendar of Documents at Edinburgh and a Walter de Branach was chaplain to the King at Moray (1360).
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