Mulheren History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Irish surname Mulheren 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 Mulheren family

The surname Mulheren 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 Mulheren family

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

Mulheren Spelling Variations

Pronunciation, rather than spelling, guided scribes and church officials when recording names during the Middle Ages. This practice often resulted in one person's name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations of the surname Mulheren are preserved in these old documents. The various spellings of the name that were found include Mulhearn, Mulheran, Mulherin, Mulhern, Mulherne and many more.

Early Notables of the Mulheren family (pre 1700)

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


United States Mulheren migration to the United States +

The 19th century saw a great wave of Irish families leaving Ireland for the distant shores of North America and Australia. These families often left their homeland hungry, penniless, and destitute due to the policies of England. Those Irish immigrants that survived the long sea passage initially settled on the eastern seaboard of the continent. Some, however, moved north to a then infant Canada as United Empire Loyalists after ironically serving with the English in the American War of Independence. Others that remained in America later joined the westward migration in search of land. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, though, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America, and those who arrived were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. In fact, the foundations of today's powerful nations of the United States and Canada were to a larger degree built by the Irish. Archival documents indicate that members of the Mulheren family relocated to North American shores quite early:

Mulheren Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James and John Mulheren, who settled in Philadelphia in 1852

Contemporary Notables of the name Mulheren (post 1700) +

  • Edward J. Mulheren, American Republican politician, Candidate in primary for Mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina, 2003 [3]


The Mulheren 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. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 27) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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