Mulhern

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Mulhern is an Irish (midland and Ulster) Catholic family name. It is anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Maoilchiaráin, ‘descendant of Maoilchiaráin’ , a personal name meaning ‘devotee of (Saint) Ciarán’ (a personal name from a diminutive of ciar ‘black’). The Mulhern family is largely based in Gaeltacht communities across County Donegal, Ireland (1500–Present) with also distant relatives scattered around the United Kingdom and North America .

History: The Irish surname Mulhern is an Anglicised form of the Gaelic Ó Maoilchiaráin, which literally signifies “(the descendant of) the devotee of St. Kieran”, the latter being an Irish bishop said to predate St. Patrick and to have been a hermit at Saighar and founder of the famous abbey of Clonmacnois. The personal name itself means “my little dark one”. The Ó Maoilchiaráin were a Roscommon family who served as erenaghs of Ardcane in that county and produced many notable ecclesiastics - erenaghs were hereditary lay lords who held church lands in trust from generation to generation . Records of the name in Roscommon date as far back as 1012, when the Annals of the four Masters refer to the slaying of an Ó Maoilchiaráin who was erenagh of Eaglis Beg (Clonmacnois). Other ecclesiastics of note from the Medival period were Denis O’Mulkerrin (d.1224), Bishop of Elphin, and Maelisa O’Mulkerrin (d.1197), Bishop of Clogher. At a slightly later period Father John Mulcheran, hanged in December, 1589, was one of many Ulster martyrs. In Roscommon itself, the name has generally Anglicised as Mulkerrill, while amongst those branches which became established elsewhere it has become Mulkerrin in Galway, with the Mulhern/Mulhearne variant being particularly associated with the northern province of Ulster, whereit was first recorded in the Hearth Money Rolls of Armagh and Donegal in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries as Mulkieran. By 1890 however, of the twenty one Mulhern births registered throughout Ireland, two-thirds took place in Ulster with nine out of ten Mulkerrin births occurring in Galway *** Beazon of Arms: Per fesse argent and azure, three chaplets counterchanged. Translation: Argent (white) is the colour of Peace and Sincerity, whilst azure (Blue) denotes Loyalty and Truth. The chaplet is an emblem of “the crown of joy”. Crest: On a mount vert, a horse at full speed, saddled and bridled proper. Origin: Ireland (Extract taken from “The Historical Research Center,Inc.,)

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