What Happened To The "E" And The "O" . . . by Lars O. Byrne
I have no clue as to where the "O" went in the O'Byrne name as brought to America by George
Byrn in the early 1700's. A web site that tells more of the Byrne clan in Ireland and can be found
at Byrne Clan, A Worldwide Gatering or check out Richard F.M. Byrn. web site.
But a letter written by W.E.R. [William Eston Randolph] Byrne, a Charleston attorney, on March 19,
1926, has one idea about the "E". Posted below is part of that letter. The entire letter is posted
on this web site. It has some very interesting material. The copy of the letter was given to me by
Millard "Buck" Byrne, Columbus, Ohio.
As this group of Byrne, at least those who were at the Greenbo, Ky. reunion in 2006, comes
through Prestron County, (West) Virginia and spells their name with the "E", who can say that
W.E.R. Byrne [Oct. 16, 1862 - Dec. 11, 1937] is not correct.
--Lars O. Byrne, Philippi, WV, March 1, 2007
P.S. I am named after my great grandfather, Lars Olson, so the "O" in my name has nothing
to do with this saga.
"The first spelling of the name in this country was Byrne. My father [Benjamin W. Byrne
1820-1903] told me that when Major Charles Byrne [1775-1843] was made clerk of Preston County
he ordered the printing of certain blank forms pertaining to his office, in which his name was to
be printed. In writing his name for the printer's copy he made a pen flourish at the end which the
printer mistook for an "e", and the blanks were printed accordingly with the name Byrne. In
those days it would have been a serious matter, probably entailing a long delay, to have the
blanks reprinted. Consequently Major Charles adopted the spelling in the blanks, and his
descendants in this part of the country seem to have done likewise. I have met a few persons
who spell their name Byrn, but I do not know if they are of our strain."