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

Origins Available: English, Irish

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

Today's Irish surnames are underpinned by a multitude of rich histories. The name Mullen originally appeared in Gaelic as either O Meallain, O Maolain or Mac Maolain. The first surname is derived from the word meall, which means pleasant. The second and third surnames are derived from maol, which means bald.


Irish names were rarely spelled consistently in the Middle Ages. Spelling variations of the name Mullen dating from that time include Mullan, Mullen, Mullin, Mullens, Mullins, O'Mullen, O'Mullan, O'Mullin, McMullen and many more.

First found in the province of Connacht (Irish: Connachta, (land of the) descendants of Conn) where the Mullen, Mullin and Mullan spellings were popular. They were descended from the Kings of Connacht and are of the same basic stock as the O'Concannons. Branches were also found in Cork, Limerick, and Clare where the Mullane and Mullins spellings were the most frequent. Some were found north in Ulster and Tyrone and Derry. [1] This latter group is difficult to trace as the Scottish MacMullen or McMullen settled there during Cromwell's Plantation of Ulster.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mullen research. Another 107 words(8 lines of text) covering the years 1729, 1660 and 1720 are included under the topic Early Mullen History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 107 words(8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Mullen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


The 19th century saw a great wave of Irish families leaving Ireland for the distant shores of North America and Australia. These families often left their homeland hungry, penniless, and destitute do to the policies of England. Those Irish immigrants that survived the long sea passage initially settled on the eastern seaboard of the continent. Some, however, moved north to a then infant Canada as United Empire Loyalists after ironically serving with the English in the American War of Independence. Others that remained in America later joined the westward migration in search of land. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, though, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America, and those who arrived were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. In fact, the foundations of today's powerful nations of the United Sates and Canada were to a larger degree built by the Irish. Archival documents indicate that members of the Mullen family relocated to North American shores quite early:

Mullen Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Thomas Mullen, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746
  • John Mullen, who arrived in South Carolina in 1772
  • Brian Mullen, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1774
  • Daniel Mullen, who arrived in America in 1782
  • William Mullen, who arrived in New Castle, Del in 1794

Mullen Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • D. B. Mullen settled in Philadelphia with his wife, son and servants, in 1807
  • Eliza Mullen, who landed in New York, NY in 1811
  • Robert Mullen, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811
  • Richard Mullen, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1812
  • Alexander Mullen, who landed in New York, NY in 1815


  • Admiral Michael Glenn Mullen (b. 1946), American 28th Chief of Naval Operations from 2005 to 2007
  • Sheila Mullen (b. 1957), American model
  • David Mullen (b. 1952), award-winning American artist and photographer
  • Joseph Patrick Mullen (b. 1957), retired American professional NHL ice hockey player
  • Harryette Mullen (b. 1953), American poet, short story writer, and literary scholar
  • Maire Mullen (b. 1953), winner of the 1998 Tony Award for Best Actress
  • Samuel Mullen (1828-1890), Irish-born, Australian bookseller
  • Tobias Mullen (1818-1900), Irish-born clergyman, Bishop of Erie (1868 to 1899)
  • Miss Katherine "Katie" Mullen, aged 19, Irish Third Class passenger from Esker, Longford who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived in the sinking in life boat 16
  • Brian Mullen (b. 1962), American former professional ice hockey player who spent eleven seasons in the NHL



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  1. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)

Other References

  1. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  2. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  3. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  4. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  5. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  6. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
  7. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
  8. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  9. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  10. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  11. ...

The Mullen Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Mullen 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 24 October 2014 at 16:35.

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