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O'Rourke Historical Profiles

Welcome To The World of O'Rourke

"The proudest and most inflexible family of the Irish Race", footnote in The Annals of the Four Masters (1591), 1966 edition

The Historical Legacy

The O'Rourke family surname is one of the oldest in the world. It originated in the 10th Century in the wake of the death of a young prince named Ruarc (Rourke). Ruarc's ancestors hailed from the royal house of Brefni and descended from the 4th Century High King Brion. During the later middle ages the House of O'Rourke was recognized as one of the leading families of Gaelic Nobility. Their main kingdom was that of Brefni but they also held sovereignty over Conmaicne and for a time Connaught and even parts of Meath. After Gaelic law was suppressed several O'Rourkes were knighted by the English. Other O'Rourke nobles migrated to Europe and became valued leaders there. Today there is a rekindled interest in the history of the clan as the proud noble line celebrates 1100 years of existence

Serviendo Guberno: O'Rourkes In Service

Since the demise of the Gaelic order O'Rourkes have continued to follow the proud tradition of serving their nation as soldiers, priests, teachers, civil servants and firefighters. From the Civil War to the World Trade Center O'Rourkes have shared in the anguish and given their lives in following the path of duty and honor.

Artististic O'Rourkes

O'Rourkes have shown themselves to be skilled in the world of the arts, and have thrived in careers in the theater, film and literature. Edmund Falconer was the stage name for the great Victorian era playright Edmund O'Rourke. Constance Rourke was a prolific chronicler of the American experience during the first half of the 20th Century. Mickey Rourke has made a name for himself as a distinctive and exciting Hollywood actor. Beloved child actress Heather O'Rourke was also a film star and made the words "They're Here" famous in the film Poltergeist. On the music scene, the Chicago born Jim O'Rourke is a critically acclaimed guitarist and producer.

Sporting O'Rourkes

O'Rourkes who have excelled in the sports arena include the late race driver Steve O'Rourke- who finished first in his division at the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans. James Henry "Orator" O'Rourke was a legendary baseball player who's career spanned two centuries and four decades. Charley O'Rourke led Boston College in the late 1940's and is enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame.

O'Rourkes In Film and Fiction

What do Alan Ladd, Ricardo Montobaln and Olivia de Havilland have in common? What famous British actor is married to a Singapore born O'Rourke? Find out on the O'Rourkes in Film and Fiction page, your source for fictional Rourkes and O'Rourkes.