Mulhern History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The Irish surname Mulhern 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. 
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." 
Early Origins of the Mulhern family
The surname Mulhern 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."  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." 
Early History of the Mulhern family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mulhern research. Another 81 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 117 and 1172 are included under the topic Early Mulhern History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Mulhern Spelling Variations
The Middle Ages saw a great number of spelling variations for surnames common to the Irish landscape. One reason for these variations is the fact that surnames were not rigidly fixed by this period. The following variations for the name Mulhern were encountered in the archives: Mulhearn, Mulheran, Mulherin, Mulhern, Mulherne and many more.
Early Notables of the Mulhern family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Mulhern Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
In the United States, the name Mulhern is the 12,562nd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. 
Death and immigration greatly reduced Ireland's population in the 19th century. For the native Irish people poverty, hunger, and racial prejudice was common. Therefore, thousands left their homeland to seek opportunity in North America. Those who survived the journey and the quarantine camps to which they arrived, were instrumental towards building the strong developing nations of the United States and the future Canada. By far, the largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. These were employed as construction or factory workers. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has shown early immigrants bearing the name Mulhern:
Mulhern Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
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:
Mulhern Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
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.