Mulheran History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Irish surname Mulheran comes from the Gaelic O Maolciarain or O Maolchiarain, a patronymic, which means a descendant of a devotee of St. Kieran or Ciarán of Saigir. [1]

The Mulhern(e) variant which is the most common today, claims descent through the O'Connor Faley pedigree, on the Heremon side. The name literally means "one who is dark grey." [2]

Early Origins of the Mulheran family

The surname Mulheran was first found in County Clare (Irish: An Clár) located on the west coast of Ireland in the province of Munster, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

Mulhern(e) is typically an Ulster form of Mulkerrin which is a "County Roscommon family who were erenaghs of Ardcarne and produced many notable ecclesiastics." [1] Of note was Denis O’Mulkerrin (died 1224), Bishop of Elphin, and Maelisa O’Mulkerrin (died 1197), Bishop of Clogher.

Another source notes the family descend from Mulheeran of Offaley, specifically Maolciaran, "ciaran." [2]

Early History of the Mulheran family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mulheran research. Another 81 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 117 and 1172 are included under the topic Early Mulheran History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Mulheran Spelling Variations

The recording of names in Ireland during the Middle Ages was an inconsistent endeavor at best. Since the general population did not know how to read or write, they could only specify how their names should be recorded orally. Research into the name Mulheran revealed spelling variations, including Mulhearn, Mulheran, Mulherin, Mulhern, Mulherne and many more.

Early Notables of the Mulheran family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Mulheran Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Mulheran migration to the United States +

In the 19th century, thousands of Irish left their English-occupied homeland for North America. Like most new world settlers, the Irish initially settled on the eastern shores of the continent but began to move westward with the promise of owning land. The height of this Irish migration came during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. With apparently nothing to lose, Irish people left on ships bound for North America and Australia. Unfortunately a great many of these passengers lost their lives - the only thing many had left - to disease, starvation, and accidents during the long and dangerous journey. Those who did safely arrive in "the land of opportunities" were often used for the hard labor of building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. The Irish were critical to the quick development of the infrastructure of the United States and Canada. Passenger and immigration lists indicate that members of the Mulheran family came to North America quite early:

Mulheran Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Mulheran, who landed in America in 1803 [3]
  • Margaret Mulheran, who arrived in New York in 1835 [3]
  • Thomas Mulheran, who settled in Philadelphia in 1868

Canada Mulheran migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Mulheran Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Francis Mulheran, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Ranger" in 1834
  • Mary Mulheran, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Ranger" in 1834


The Mulheran 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: Per ardua surgo
Motto Translation: I rise through difficulties.


  1. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, The Surnames of Ireland. Ireland: Irish Academic Press, sixth edition, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2366-3)
  2. ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
  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)


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