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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 County of Tyrone, bordering on Lough Neagh and the Ballinderry River. The O'Develins claimed a common descent from Develin (in Irish: Dobhuilen i.e. 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.
Alternative spellings of the name are Develon, Develin, Deveyn, Devellen, Dobhilen, Dobhailen, Dobhailean, Dobhalen, Doibhilen, Doibhelen, Doibhilein, Dhoibhilein, Dubhalen, Doibhlin, Dubhlein, Dubhlein, Dubhlin, Dubhlen, Dublein and Duiblein.
After the Battle of Downpatrick, MacNamee, hereditary poet of 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 latter 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"
Surnames of the United Kingdom,Henry Harrison 1826
Gena-logical History of the Milesian Families of Ireland D.W. De Courcy
Genealogical History of the Irish Families John Rooney
Devlins history of his people,.JB Devlin
Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland (1536-1810)
Calender of the State Papers,Ireland May 8,1647
The Story of an Irish Sept Professor Joseph Chubb Develin D.Litt
The Annuals of Ulster 1103
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