Show ContentsMcMullin History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

McMullin 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 McMullin family

The surname McMullin 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 McMullin family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McMullin 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 McMullin History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McMullin Spelling Variations

Translation in medieval times was an undeveloped science and was often carried out without due care. For this reason, many early Scottish names appeared radically altered when written in English. The spelling variations of McMullin include MacMillan, MacMullan, MacMullen, McMullen, McMullin, McMullan, McMillan, MacMullin and many more.

Early Notables of the McMullin 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 McMullin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McMullin Ranking

In the United States, the name McMullin is the 4,897th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [2]

Ireland Migration of the McMullin family to Ireland

Some of the McMullin 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 McMullin migration to the United States +

Ancestors of many of the Dalriadan families who crossed the Atlantic still live along the east coast of the United States and Canada. Some Scottish settlers arrived in Canada during the American War of Independence as United Empire Loyalists, while others stayed south to fight for a new nation. The descendants of Scottish settlers in both countries began to rediscover their heritage in the 19th and 20th centuries through Clan societies and highland games. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name McMullin or a variant listed above:

McMullin Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Alexandrew McMullin, aged 22, who arrived in New York, NY in 1804 [3]
  • Betsy McMullin, aged 60, who landed in New York, NY in 1804 [3]
  • John McMullin, aged 50, who arrived in New York, NY in 1804 [3]
  • Hector McMullin, who landed in America in 1810 [3]
  • Francis McMullin, who arrived in Maryland in 1815 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada McMullin migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McMullin Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Hugh McMullin U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway, [Shelbourne], Nova Scotia on December 13, 1783 was passenger number 399 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on November 14, 1783 at East River, New York, USA [4]
  • Mr. James McMullin U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway, [Shelbourne], Nova Scotia on October 26, 1783 was passenger number 263 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on September 28, 1783 at Staten Island, New York, USA [4]
McMullin Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • John McMullin, aged 24, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Protector" in 1834
  • Mary McMullin, aged 42, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Prudence" in 1838
  • Margaret McMullin, aged 25, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1838 aboard the brig "Susan Maria Brooke" from Donegal, Ireland

Australia McMullin migration to Australia +

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

McMullin Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Miss Eliza Mcmullin, (b. 1807), aged 22, Irish servant who was convicted in Dublin, Ireland for 7 years for house robbery, transported aboard the "Edward" on 1st January 1829, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [5]
  • Miss. Alice Mcmullin, (b. 1814), aged 19, Irish bar maid who was convicted in County Tyrone, Ireland for 7 years for vagrancy, transported aboard the "Caroline" on 6th August 1833, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [6]

New Zealand McMullin 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:

McMullin Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Frances S. Mcmullin, (b. 1854), aged 21, Irish servant from Armagh travelling from London aboard the ship "Waimate" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 4th December 1875 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name McMullin (post 1700) +

  • John McMullin (b. 1935), American professional golfer
  • Ernan McMullin (1924-2011), O’Hara Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at the University of Notre Dame
  • John F. McMullin (1849-1881), American professional baseball player
  • Frederick Drury McMullin (1891-1952), American Major League Baseball third baseman
  • Sir Duncan Wallace McMullin PC (1927-2017), New Zealand jurist, Judge of the Court of Appeal of New Zealand, Court of Appeal of Fiji and Cook Islands Court of Appeal
  • Dale McMullin (b. 1955), former Canadian ice hockey player in the WHA
  • Ian McMullin (b. 1964), former Australian rules footballer
  • Peter McMullin (b. 1952), Australian Mayor of Geelong in 2006 and Deputy Lord Mayor of Melbourne from 1996 to 1999
  • Sir Alister Maxwell McMullin (1900-1984), Australian politician

RMS Titanic
  • Mr. James McMullin (d. 1912), aged 31, English Saloon Steward from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [8]

The McMullin 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. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 19th November 2021). Retrieved from
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 22nd December 2020). Retrieved from
  7. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from
  8. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from on Facebook