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

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

The Irish name Molloy was originally written in a Gaelic form as O Maolmhuaidh, which is derived from the word "muadh," which has the dual meaning of "noble" and "big and soft."

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Many spelling variations of the surname Molloy can be found in the archives. One reason for these variations is that ancient scribes and church officials recorded names as they were pronounced, often resulting in a single person being recorded under several different spellings. The different spellings that were found include Molloy, Mulloy, Miley, O'Molloy, O'Mulloy, Mullee and many more.

First found in County Offaly (Irish: Uíbh Fháilí) originally the Kingdom of Uí Failghe, located in central Ireland in the Province of Leinster, where they held a family seat from ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Molloy research. Another 297 words(21 lines of text) covering the year 1110 is included under the topic Early Molloy History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 55 words(4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Molloy Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Irish families left their homeland in astonishing numbers during the 19th century in search of a better life. Although individual reasons vary, most of these Irish families suffered from extreme poverty, lack of work opportunities, and exorbitant rents in their homeland. Many decided to travel to Australia or North America in the hopes of finding greater opportunities and land. The Irish immigrants that came to North America initially settled on the East Coast, often in major centers such as Boston or New York. But like the many other cultures to settle in North America, the Irish traveled to almost any region they felt held greater promise; as a result, many Irish with gold fever moved all the way out to the Pacific coast. Others before that time left for land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula, or the Maritimes as United Empire Loyalists, for many Irish did choose to side with the English during the American War of Independence. The earliest wave of Irish migration, however, occurred during the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s. An examination of early immigration and passenger lists has revealed many people bearing the Molloy name:

Molloy Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Charles Molloy, who came to Boston in 1725
  • Thomas Molloy, who landed in America in 1765

Molloy Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Cornelius Molloy, who came to Philadelphia in 1808
  • Daniel Molloy, a British Alien on record in Maine in 1812
  • Daniel Molloy, aged 22, landed in Maine in 1812
  • Patrick Molloy, who arrived in New York, NY in 1815
  • William Molloy, aged 25, landed in Mobile, Ala in 1849


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  • Thomas Edmund Molloy (1885-1956), American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church, Bishop of Brooklyn (1921 until his death in 1956)
  • James Molloy (1837-1909), Irish poet, author and composer
  • Robert "Bobby" Molloy (b. 1936), Irish politician, member of the Irish Parliament
  • Trevor Molloy (b. 1977), Irish footballer from Dublin
  • Dearbhla Molloy (b. 1946), Irish actress of the stage and screen
  • Charles Molloy (d. 1767), Irish journalist and political activist
  • Sylvia Clark Molloy (1914-2008), British Realist and Impressionist artist and teacher
  • W Thomas Molloy OC, QC (b. 1940), Canadian lawyer, treaty negotiator, and Chancellor of the University of Saskatchewan
  • Major Leonard Greenham Star Molloy DSO (1861-1937), British doctor and politician
  • Anthony Patrick Molloy (b. 1944), New Zealand lawyer, wine grower, and author

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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: Malo mori quam foedari
Motto Translation: I would rather die than be disgraced.

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  1. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  2. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  3. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  4. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  5. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  6. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
  7. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
  8. 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.
  9. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  10. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  11. ...

The Molloy Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Molloy 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 5 January 2014 at 18:43.

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