McMullan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

McMullan is an ancient Dalriadan-Scottish nickname for a bald person; the name may refer to a member of a religious order. The Gaelic forms of the name are Mac Mhaolain or Mac Ghille Mhaoil, both of which mean son of the bald or tonsured one.

However, the origins of the Clan have been shrouded in uncertainty, largely as a result of historians of the Clan Buchanan, and their insistence that both Clans have a common ancestry. Buchanan of Auchmar says that the MacMillans are descended from Methlan, second son of Anselan, a Buchanan Chief of the thirteenth century. His theory supports the Buchanan claim that the MacMillans are but a sept (sub-Clan) of the Buchanan rather than a Clan in their own right. This theory is supported by the contention that both Clans have an ecclesiastical origin: MacMillan being Anglicized from Maolanach, meaning a 'priest.' However, tradition may more properly ascribe the origin from a particular tribe in Moray that has descended from the ancient Pictish tribe of Kanteai, thought to have existed in the first half of the second century AD.

Early Origins of the McMullan family

The surname McMullan was first found in at Tayside, where in 1263 Cilleonan MacMolan appears on documents. [1] They arrived in Strathtay from the lands in Loch Arkaig after King Malcolm IV transplanted many Clans, including the MacMillans, from that region about 1160 AD. Later, about 1350, the Camerons, who had changed their name to Chalmers, drove them from their Strathtay territories.

In vacating the Strathtay, the Clan branched to many other areas, including Lochaber, Argyll and Galloway. The senior branch, however, were the MacMillans of Knapdale, and they held a grant from the Lord of the Isles inscribed in Latin on a rock at Knap: 'MacMillan's right to Knap shall be, as long as this rock withstands the sea.'

Malcolm Mor MacMillan had received this rock by the 14th century. His grandson Lachlan MacMillan died at the Battle of Harlaw in 1411. Lachlan's son, Alan MacMillan of Knap, married the McNeill heiress and took over the Castle Sween. He erected a cross, which still stands to this day in Kilmory churchyard. The cross stands better than twelve feet high and is elaborately engraved, showing a Highland Chief hunting a deer on one side, and a claymore surmounted by certain Clan members on the other.

Early History of the McMullan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McMullan research. Another 267 words (19 lines of text) covering the years 1775, 1790, 1452, 1454, 1540, 1555, 1670, 1753, 1670, 1745 and 1745 are included under the topic Early McMullan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McMullan Spelling Variations

Medieval translation of Gaelic names could not be referred to as an accurate process. Spelling was not yet standardized, and names in documents from that era are riddled with spelling variations. McMullan has been written as MacMillan, MacMullan, MacMullen, McMullen, McMullin, McMullan, McMillan, MacMullin and many more.

Early Notables of the McMullan family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan from early times was Sir Duncan Macmolane, a Pope's knight, chaplain of the collegiate church of Kilmone, 1452; John Macmulan (Makmilane, or Makmylan), bailie (baillie) of Glasgow in 1454; Sir Fingon Makmulane, who was presented in 1540 to the chaplainry of Tibbermore in the diocese of...
Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McMullan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McMullan Ranking

In the United States, the name McMullan is the 10,734th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [2]

Ireland Migration of the McMullan family to Ireland

Some of the McMullan family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 89 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States McMullan migration to the United States +

Dalriadan families proliferated in North America. Their descendants still populate many communities in the eastern parts of both the United States and Canada. Some settled in Canada as United Empire Loyalists, in the wake of the American War of Independence. Families on both sides of the border have recovered much of their heritage in the 20th century through Clan societies and highland games. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name McMullan or a variant listed above:

McMullan Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Malm McMullan, aged 58, who landed in North Carolina in 1774 [3]
McMullan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Hugh McMullan, who arrived in America in 1801 [3]
  • Margaret McMullan, aged 41, who arrived in New Castle, Del in 1804 [3]
  • Samuel McMullan, aged 13, who landed in New Castle, Del in 1804 [3]
  • William McMullan, aged 18, who arrived in New Castle, Del in 1804 [3]
  • Corns McMullan, who landed in America in 1804 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
McMullan Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Alice McMullan, aged 1, who immigrated to the United States from Belfast, in 1906
  • Annie McMullan, aged 28, who immigrated to the United States from Lisburn, Ireland, in 1907
  • Agnes McMullan, aged 16, who landed in America from Antrim, Ireland, in 1907
  • Bessie McMullan, aged 19, who landed in America from Antrim, Ireland, in 1907
  • Anna McMullan, aged 27, who settled in America from Belfast, Ireland, in 1908
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia McMullan migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

McMullan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Sarah Mcmullan, (b. 1793), aged 50, Irish convict who was convicted in Antrim, Ireland for 7 years for larceny, transported aboard the "East London" on 10th May 1843, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land), listed as having 2 children [4]

New Zealand McMullan migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

McMullan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • James McMullan, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mermaid" in 1859
  • Robert McMullan, aged 24, a shepherd, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Chile" in 1874
  • Mr. R. McMullan, (b. 1857), aged 17, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Peter Denny" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 26th July 1874 [5]
  • Miss Margaret McMullan, (b. 1855), aged 18, Scottish domestic servant travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Wild Deer" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 5th March 1874 [5]
  • James McMullan, aged 20, a ploughman, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Arawa" in 1884

Contemporary Notables of the name McMullan (post 1700) +

  • James P. McMullan (b. 1936), American actor from Long Island, New York, best known for his role as Dr. Terry McDaniel on the 1960s series Ben Casey
  • Kevin "Mac" McMullan, American baseball coach, current assistant baseball coach for the University of Virginia Cavaliers
  • Patrick McMullan, American photographer, columnist, television personality and socialite
  • James McMullan (b. 1934), American illustrator and designer of theatrical posters
  • Jimmy McMullan (1895-1964), Scottish footballer and manager who won 16 Scotland caps as a player, member of the famous "Wembley Wizards" side of 1928
  • Paul Alexander McMullan (b. 1984), Scottish professional football midfielder
  • Jackie "Teapot" McMullan (b. 1955), Irish former volunteer in the Provisional Irish Republican Army who took part in the 1981 Irish hunger strike
  • Robert Francis "Bob" McMullan (b. 1947), Australian politician, Manager of Opposition Business in the House (1998-2001), Minister for Trade (1994-1996), Minister for the Arts (1993-1994), Minister for Administrative Services (1993-1994)
  • Joyce McMullan, Irish All Star winning former Gaelic footballer for Donegal
  • Dominic McMullan (b. 1962), Irish retired sportsperson
  • ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The McMullan Motto +

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: Miseris succurrere disco
Motto Translation: I learn to succour the distressed.

  1. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  2. ^
  3. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  4. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 15th September 2021). Retrieved from
  5. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from on Facebook
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