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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: German, Irish

Where did the Irish Mulkey family come from? What is the Irish Mulkey family crest and coat of arms? When did the Mulkey family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Mulkey family history?

There are multitude of rich histories underlying the many Irish surnames in use today. The name Mulkey originally appeared in Gaelic as O Maolchathaigh, which means "a descendant of a devotee of St. Cathach." The surname is not, as is often believed, derived from "cathach," meaning "warlike."

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Pronunciation, rather than spelling, was what guided scribes and church officials in recording names, a practice that often led to the misleading result of one person's name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations of the surname Mulkey are preserved in documents that were examined for evidence of the family's history. The various spellings of Mulkey included Mulcahey, O'Mulcahey, Mulcahy, O'Mulcahy, Mulcahee, Mulkey, McMulkey and many more.

First found in County Tipperary (Irish: Thiobraid Árann), established in the 13th century in South-central Ireland, in the province of Munster.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mulkey research. Another 214 words(15 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Mulkey History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Mulkey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Often leaving from racial discrimination and colonial oppression, thousands of families left Ireland in the 19th century for North America aboard passenger ships. Many early immigrants found a plot of land to call their own, something unimaginable for most Irish families. Those that arrived later were often accommodated as laborers since there was a large demand for cheap labor. This was the fate for many of the families that arrived in North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Whether they became agrarian settlers or industrial workers, the Irish that came to North America were invaluable for rapid development of the infant nations of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the Irish name Mulkey or a variant listed above:

Mulkey Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Mrs. M. Mulkey, aged 34, who settled in America from Tulla, in 1901
  • Frederick W. Mulkey, aged 31, who landed in America, in 1905
  • Margaret Mulkey, aged 39, who landed in America from Ennis, Ireland, in 1907
  • John L. Mulkey, aged 32, who emigrated to the United States, in 1912
  • Edward Mulkey, aged 53, who emigrated to America, in 1919


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  • Frederick W. Mulkey (1874-1924), United States Senator from Oregon
  • William O. Mulkey (1871-1943), United States Representative from Alabama


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  1. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  2. McDonnell, Frances. Emigrants from Ireland to America 1735-1743 A Transcription of the report of the Irish House of Commons into Enforced emigration to America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1331-5).
  3. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  4. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
  5. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  6. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  7. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
  8. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  9. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
  10. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  11. ...

The Mulkey Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Mulkey Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 25 August 2011 at 08:47.

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