Molloy History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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." [1]

Early Origins of the Molloy family

The surname Molloy was 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.

Albin O'Molloy or Alpin O'Moelmhuaidh (d. 1223), was Bishop of Ferns, a native Irishman, "who became a Cistercian monk at Baltinglass, and eventually rose to be abbot of that house. In Lent 1186, when John, archbishop of Dublin, held a synod at Holy Trinity Church, Albin preached a long sermon on clerical continency, in which he laid all the blame for existing evils on the Welsh and English clergy who had come over to Ireland. On 5 Nov. he was appointed by Pope Innocent III, with the Archbishop of Tuam and Bishop of Kilmacduagh, to excommunicate the Bishop of Waterford, who had robbed the Bishop of Lismore." [2]

Early History of the Molloy family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Molloy research. Another 149 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1110, 1660, 1641, 1652, 1640, 1690, 1663, 1669, 1667, 1767, 1764, 1767, 1742, 1702 and 1758 are included under the topic Early Molloy History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Molloy Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Molloy family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family at this time was John O'Molloy of English parish, Sugawn chief, Lord of Fercal (Feara Ceall), Offaly Francis Molloy or O'Maolmhuaidh ( fl. 1660), was an Irish theologian and grammarian, a native of the county of Meath, Ireland. "The family of which he was a member had extensive landed possessions in the district known as O'Molloys' Country, and some of them engaged actively in the Irish movements from 1641 to 1652." [2] Charles Molloy (1640-1690), was an Irish lawyer of the Middle Temple, born in County Offaly. He was "a native of King's County and was probably a member of...
Another 154 words (11 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Molloy Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Molloy World Ranking

In the United States, the name Molloy is the 6,165th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [3] However, in Newfoundland, Canada, the name Molloy is ranked the 184th most popular surname with an estimated 221 people with that name. [4] And in Australia, the name Molloy is the 634th popular surname with an estimated 6,157 people with that name. [5] New Zealand ranks Molloy as 507th with 1,358 people. [6] The United Kingdom ranks Molloy as 936th with 7,391 people. [7]


United States Molloy migration to the United States +

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 United States in the 18th Century
  • Charles Molloy, who settled in Boston in 1725
  • Thomas Molloy, who landed in America in 1765 [8]
Molloy Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Cornelius Molloy, who settled in Philadelphia in 1808
  • Daniel Molloy, a British Alien on record in Maine in 1812
  • Daniel Molloy, aged 22, who landed in Maine in 1812 [8]
  • Patrick Molloy, who arrived in New York, NY in 1815 [8]
  • William Molloy, aged 25, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1849 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Molloy migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Molloy Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Arthur Molloy, who settled in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Arthur Molloy, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Jane Molloy, who arrived in Quebec in 1798
Molloy Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Bridget Molloy, who arrived in Quebec in 1810
  • John Molloy, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1819
  • Bridget Molloy, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1825
  • Bridget Molloy, who settled in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1825
  • Mary Molloy, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1826
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Molloy migration to Australia +

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

Molloy Settlers in Australia in the 18th Century
  • Captain John Molloy (circa 1789-1867) was an early settler of Western Australia, one of the original settlers of Augusta
Molloy Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Eleanor Molloy, (b. 1801), aged 25, Irish country servant who was convicted in Dublin, Ireland for life for stealing, transported aboard the "Brothers" on 3rd October 1826, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, listed as having 3 children [9]
  • Mr. Edward Molloy, British convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for life, transported aboard the "Asia" on 29th September 1831, settling in New South Wales, Australia [10]
  • Mr. Owen Molloy, (b. 1806), aged 26, Irish labourer who was convicted in County Meath, Ireland for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the " Dunvegan Castle" on 1st July 1832, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he was executed in 1849 [11]
  • Mr. Benjamin Molloy, (b. 1819), aged 19, Irish blacksmith who was convicted in Dublin, Ireland for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Clyde" on 11th May 1838, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [12]
  • Mr. John Molloy, (b. 1817), aged 21, Irish labourer who was convicted in Tipperary, Ireland for life for manslaughter, transported aboard the "Clyde" on 11th May 1838, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [12]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Molloy 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:

Molloy Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Charles Molloy, (b. 1838), aged 23, Irish farm labourer, from Galway travelling from Bristol aboard the ship "Rhea Sylvia" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 2nd May 1861 [13]
  • Mr. John Molloy, (b. 1832), aged 32, British labourer travelling from London aboard the ship "Glenmark" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st January 1865 [14]
  • Mr. Patrick Molloy, (b. 1843), aged 26, Irish labourer, from County Offaly travelling from London aboard the ship "Siberia" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st February 1870 [13]
  • John Molloy, aged 24, a farm labourer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Parsee" in 1873
  • Teresa Molloy, aged 20, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Parsee" in 1873
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Molloy (post 1700) +

  • Thomas Edmund Molloy (1885-1956), American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church, Bishop of Brooklyn (1921 until his death in 1956)
  • Thomas J. Molloy, American Republican politician, Candidate for Connecticut State House of Representatives from Hartford, 1912 [15]
  • Thomas H. Molloy, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Connecticut, 1908 [15]
  • Thomas F. Molloy (b. 1857), American Democratic Party politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Derby, 1917-34 [15]
  • Patrick J. Molloy, American politician, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, 1977-81; U.S. Attorney for Idaho, 1993 [15]
  • Michael Molloy, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Pennsylvania, 2008 [15]
  • Josephine R. Molloy, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Connecticut, 1936 [15]
  • Joseph C. Molloy, American politician, Member of Pennsylvania State House of Representatives from Philadelphia County, 1870 [15]
  • John J. Molloy, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for New York State Assembly from Cayuga County, 1926 [15]
  • Francis J. Molloy, American Democratic Party politician, Mayor of Troy, New York, 1894-99; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1896 [15]
  • ... (Another 23 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. Robert J. Molloy, English 3rd Class passenger from England, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [16]
  • Miss Margaret Molloy, Irish 2nd Class passenger residing in New York, New York, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [16]


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


  1. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Supplement to Irish Families. Baltimore: Genealogical Book Company, 1964. Print.
  2. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  4. ^ The order of Common Surnames in 1955 in Newfoundland retrieved on 20th October 2021 (retrieved from Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland by E.R. Seary corrected edition ISBN 0-7735-1782-0)
  5. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  6. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  7. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  8. ^ 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)
  9. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 3rd November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/brothers
  10. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 12th January 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1831
  11. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 12th August 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/dunvegan-castle
  12. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 24th February 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/clyde
  13. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  14. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  15. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 19) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  16. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/


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