James Bruen was a Cromwellian soldier who settled at Boyle in county Roscommon. A descendant, Colonel Henry Bruen, purchased the Oak Park estate in county Carlow circa 1775. His third son, Francis Bruen, was leasing property at Castleturvin in county Galway valued at £15 to Reverend Mark Perrin in 1855. The Bruens intermarried with the county Mayo families Knox of Rappa and Ruttledge of Bloomfield. The Bruen estate was mainly in the counties of Carlow and Wexford where they had houses at Oakpark in Carlow and at Coolbawn, Enniscorthy. Francis Bruen was married to Catherine Anne Nugent, daughter of the Earl of Westmeath. Three of their townlands in the barony of Athenry were offered for sale in the Landed Estates court in June 1866. The Bruen estate in county Galway amounted to over 700 acres in the 1870s but was part of an estate of almost 25,000 acres in total. Manuscripts in the Genealogical Office would suggest that the family held lands at Boyle, county Roscommon, in the eighteenth century. These lands seem to have been at the centre of a legal case between the Bruen family and Richard St.George.