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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: Irish, Scottish


There are many Irish surnames being used today in forms that are quite different than their original, ancient forms. McLaughlin originally appeared in Gaelic as Mac Lochlainn or O Maoilsheachlainn. The first name is derived from a Norse personal name, while the second name originally designated a follower of St. Secundinus.

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People who were accounted for by scribes and church officials often had their name recorded many different ways because pronunciation was the only guide those scribes and church officials had to go by. This resulted in the problem of one person's name being recorded under several different variations, creating the illusion of more than one person. Among the many spelling variations of the surname McLaughlin that are preserved in archival documents are MacLoughlin, McLoughlin, MacGloughlin, Lochlain, Claughan and many more.

First found in County Meath (Irish: An Mhí) anciently part of the kingdom of Brega, located in Eastern Ireland, in the province of Leinster, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, long before the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McLaughlin research. Another 135 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1002, 1172, 1699, 1797, 1784 and 1857 are included under the topic Early McLaughlin History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 109 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McLaughlin 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 McLaughlin name:

McLaughlin Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Charles McLaughlin, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746

McLaughlin Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Dennis McLaughlin, aged 25, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Duncan McLaughlin, aged 31, landed in New York in 1812
  • Alexander McLaughlin, aged 24, arrived in Maryland in 1813
  • George McLaughlin, who arrived in America in 1818
  • Mary McLaughlin, who landed in Illinois in 1818


McLaughlin Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Carl McLaughlin, who landed in Alabama in 1924
  • Clayton Hudson McLaughlin, who arrived in Alabama in 1925

McLaughlin Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Mr. Alexander McLaughlin U.E. who settled in Eastern District [Cornwall], Ontario c. 1784
  • Mr. Daniel McLaughlin U.E. who settled in St. Andrews, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1784
  • Mr. Edward McLaughlin U.E. who settled in Home District [York County], Ontario c. 1784
  • Mr. James McLaughlin U.E. who settled in Home District [York County], Ontario c. 1784
  • Mr. James McLaughlin U.E. who settled in Home District, Louth [Niagara], Ontario c. 1784


McLaughlin Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Margaret McLaughlin, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1817
  • Daniel McLaughlin, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1818
  • Mary A. McLaughlin, aged 16, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the brig "Dorcas Savage" from Belfast
  • Polly McLaughlin, aged 24, a widow, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the brig "Ugoni" from Belfast
  • Patrick McLaughlin, aged 6, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the brig "Ugoni" from Belfast


McLaughlin Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Michael McLaughlin arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Condor" in 1851
  • Mary McLaughlin, aged 28, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Coromandel"
  • Mary A. McLaughlin, aged 18, a domestic servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Nashwauk"
  • Robert McLaughlin, aged 20, arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Switzerland"

McLaughlin Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • B.D. McLaughlin, aged 28, a labourer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ariel" in 1856
  • William G. McLaughlin, aged 21, a farm labourer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Forfarshire" in 1873
  • Mary McLaughlin, aged 40, a servant, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Queen of Nations" in 1874
  • Mary E. McLaughlin, aged 17, a servant, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Queen of Nations" in 1874
  • Sarah A. McLaughlin, aged 17, a servant, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Queen of Nations" in 1874


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  • Master Sergeant Alford Lee McLaughlin (1928-1977), United States Marine, awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in the Korean War
  • Sylvia McLaughlin (1916-2016), American environmentalist, co-founder of Save San Francisco Bay Association which eventually became Save The Bay
  • Christian McLaughlin (b. 1967), American television writer, producer, and author
  • Chester Bentine McLaughlin (1856-1929), American lawyer and politician from New York
  • Michael Duane "Bo" McLaughlin (b. 1953), American Major League Baseball relief pitcher from 1976 to 1982
  • Bernard Joseph McLaughlin (1912-2015), American Bishop of the Roman Catholic Church
  • Bernard Joseph McLaughlin (1958-1988), American Marketing Manager from Cranston, Rhode Island, America, who flew aboard the Pan Am Flight 103 from Frankfurt to Detroit, known as the Lockerbie bombing in 1988 and died
  • Warren A. McLaughlin (1876-1923), American Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Mignon McLaughlin (1913-1983), American writer
  • Dean Benjamin McLaughlin (1901-1965), American astronomer

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  1. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  2. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  3. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  4. 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).
  5. 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.
  6. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  8. 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).
  9. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  11. ...

The McLaughlin Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McLaughlin 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 15 April 2016 at 16:55.

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