Devlin (surname)

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The surname Devlin can be traced to the people of Develin, [clarification needed] known individually as O'Develin. The O'Develin chiefdom was situated on the extreme northeastern part of the present-day County of Tyrone, bordering on Lough Neagh and the Ballinderry River. The O'Develins claimed a common descent from Develin (in Irish: Dobhuilen or "Raging Valour", an Irish noble of the royal blood of Aileach who flourished in or about the eighth century AD and was eighth in descent from Owen, the founder of the clan). Develin was a scion of that branch of the clan Owen known as the Sons of Erca (Cenel Mic Erca) because of their descent from Muirchertach Mac Erca, grandson of Owen.

While this may be so for the nobler bearers of the name (not to be confused with "the middle class protestant Devlins of Cookstown" referred to by Bernadette Devlin in "The Price of My Soul") it is tempting to suppose that Dubh Lind is more likely for the majority, - see Wikipedia on Dublin.

Alternative spellings of the name are Develon, Develin, Devlin, Deveyn, Devellen, Dobhilen, Dobhailen, Dobhailean, Dobhalen, Doibhilen, Doibhelen, Doibhilein, Dhoibhilein, Dubhalen, Doibhlin, Dubhlein, Dubhlein, Dubhlin, Dubhlen, Dublein and Duiblein.[citation needed]


After the Battle of Downpatrick, MacNamee, hereditary poet, O'Neill,[who?] composed a poem called The Lament for O'Neill, in which he bewails the death of his king and the numerous nobles of his race who were slain with him. Among the nobles was O'Develin of whom the poet sings:

"Alas! Deep grief overspread the country To anticipate the death of O'Develin Gofraidh our grief unto Judgement Day Generous of his banquet was his youth"


Fictional characters[edit]


  1. Surnames of the United Kingdom,Henry Harrison 1826
  2. Gena-logical History of the Milesian Families of Ireland D.W. De Courcy
  3. Genealogical History of the Irish Families John Rooney
  4. Devlins history of his people,.JB Devlin
  5. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland (1536-1810)
  6. Calendar of the State Papers,Ireland May 8, 1647
  7. The Story of an Irish Sept Professor Joseph Chubb Develin D.Litt
  8. The Annuals of Ulster 1103