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

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

Irish surnames are linked to the long Gaelic heritage of the Island nation. The original Gaelic form of the name Devlin is O Doibhilin.


Irish names recorded during the Middle Ages are characterized by many spelling variations. This preponderance of variations for common names can be explained by the fact that the scribes and church officials that kept records during that period individually decided how to capture one's name. These recorders primarily based their decisions on how the name was pronounced or what it meant. Research into the name Devlin revealed many variations, including Devlin, O'Devlin, Develin, Devolin, Devoline, Defflin, Devline, Davlin and many more.

First found in the barony of Corran, County Sligo (Irish: Sligeach), in the province of Connacht in Northwestern Ireland, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Devlin research. Another 285 words(20 lines of text) covering the years 1211, 1316, 1641, 1735, 1778, 1825, and 1851 are included under the topic Early Devlin History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


Irish immigrants began to leave the English-controlled Ireland in sizable numbers during the late 18th century. Many of these Irish immigrated to British North America or the United States in the hopes of gaining their own tract of farmland. This pattern of migration grew steadily until the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine caused a great exodus of immigrants to North America. These immigrants differed from their predecessors in that they were desperately fleeing the disease and starvation that plagued their homeland, and many were entirely destitute when they arrived in North America. Although these penniless immigrants were not warmly welcomed when they arrived, they were critical to the rapid development of the United States and what would become known as Canada. Many went to populate the western frontiers and others provided the cheap labor the new manufacturing sector and the building of bridges, roads, railways, and canals required. A thorough examination of immigration and passenger lists has revealed some of the earliest people to arrive in North America with name Devlin or one of its variants:

Devlin Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Sally Devlin settled in New York State in 1811
  • Sally Devlin, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811
  • Michl Devlin, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816
  • Mr. Devlin, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1822
  • Peter Devlin, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1823


  • Joe Devlin (1899-1973), American actor
  • Art Devlin (1879-1948), American Major League Baseball player
  • Michael Devlin (b. 1942), American bass-baritone opera singer
  • Dean Devlin (b. 1962), American actor, screenwriter and producer
  • Joseph Devlin (1872-1934), Irish nationalist
  • JG Devlin (1907-1991), Irish theater, film, and television actor
  • Bernadette Devlin (b. 1947), Northern Irish, radical politician, the youngest woman ever elected to the British Parliament (1969)
  • Patrick Arthur Devlin (1905-1992), British lawyer, judge, jurist, and Baron Devlin
  • Timothy Robert Devlin (b. 1959), English politician, Member of the UK Parliament


The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Crux mea stella
Motto Translation: The cross, my star


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  1. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  2. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  3. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  4. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  5. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  6. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
  7. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  8. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  9. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
  10. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  11. ...

The Devlin Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Devlin 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 26 July 2014 at 06:34.

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