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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the Irish Mulholland family come from? When did the Mulholland family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Mulholland family history?

There are many Irish surnames being used today in forms that are quite different than their original, ancient forms. Mulholland originally appeared in Gaelic as O hUallachain, which is derived from the word "uallach," which means "proud."


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 Mulholland that are preserved in archival documents are Holohan, O'Holohan, Mulholland, Highland, Hoolohan, Houlihan, Hooligan, Whelton, Oulihan, Oulahen, Whoolahan and many more.

First found in Thomond (Irish: Tuadh Mumhan), literally North Thomond, the pre-Norman Kingdom of Thomond, since divided between counties Limerick, Tipperary and Clare, where they held a family seat from ancient times.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mulholland research. Another 409 words (29 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Mulholland History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


Ireland became inhospitable for many native Irish families in the 19th centuries. Poverty, lack of opportunities, high rents, and discrimination forced thousands to leave the island for North America. The largest exodus of Irish settlers occurred with the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. For these immigrants the journey to British North America and the United States was long and dangerous and many did not live to see the shores of those new lands. Those who did make it were essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest and most powerful nations of the world. These Irish immigrants were not only important for peopling the new settlements and cities, they also provided the manpower needed for the many industrial and agricultural projects so essential to these growing nations. Immigration and passenger lists have documented the arrival of various people bearing the name Mulholland to North America:

Mulholland Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Owen Mulholland, who arrived in Virginia in 1750

Mulholland Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Daniel Mulholland, who landed in New York in 1811
  • Eleanor Mulholland, who arrived in New York in 1811
  • George Mulholland, who landed in New York, NY in 1811
  • Joseph Mulholland, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1812
  • John Mulholland, who landed in New York, NY in 1816

Mulholland Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Charles Mulholland, aged 20, arrived in Quebec in 1833
  • David Mulholland, aged 40, arrived in Quebec in 1834
  • Hugh Mulholland, aged 24, arrived in St. John aboard the ship "Protector" in 1834
  • James Mulholland, aged 13, arrived in St. John aboard the ship "Protector" in 1834
  • Thomas Mulholland, aged 16, arrived in St. John aboard the ship "Protector" in 1834

Mulholland Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Peter Mulholland, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Adamant" on March 16, 1821, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Robert Mulholland, aged 32, a farm labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Europa"
  • David Mulholland, aged 24, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Amazon"

Mulholland Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Elizabeth Mulholland, aged 30, a nurse, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Hurunui" in 1877
  • Smylie Mulholland, aged 24, a farm labourer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rakaia" in 1878
  • Margaret Mulholland, aged 20, a servant, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rakaia" in 1878
  • Alice Mulholland, aged 18, a servant, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rakaia" in 1878


  • John Mulholland (1898-1970), American magician, author, publisher and intelligence agent
  • Lieutenant General John F. Mulholland Jr. (b. 1955), American Deputy Commander of United States Special Operations Command
  • Joe H. Mulholland (1934-2014), American businessman and politician who served in the Mississippi State Senate (1964-1968) and (1976-1984)
  • Dale Mulholland (b. 1964), American former soccer player and manager
  • William Mulholland, American water-services engineer in Southern California, eponym of the Los Angeles road, Mulholland Drive
  • Bob Mulholland, California Democratic Party senior advisor
  • Patrick J Mulholland Ph.D.,, American scientist with the Environmental Sciences Division of Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • John Mulholland (b. 1946), Irish politician, Mayor of Galway (1986-1987) and (1996-1997)
  • John Mulholland (b. 1962), Irish journalist and editor of The Observer and assistant editor of The Guardian
  • John Mulholland, Irish president of the Irish Republican Brotherhood from 1910 to 1912




  1. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  2. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992. Print.
  4. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  5. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  6. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  7. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  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. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
  10. 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).
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This page was last modified on 13 August 2015 at 21:05.

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