Mulherne History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Irish surname Mulherne 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 Mulherne family

The surname Mulherne 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 Mulherne family

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

Mulherne Spelling Variations

Names from the Middle Ages demonstrate many spelling variations. This is because the recording scribe or church official often decided as to how a person's name was spelt and in what language. Research into the name Mulherne revealed many variations, including Mulhearn, Mulheran, Mulherin, Mulhern, Mulherne and many more.

Early Notables of the Mulherne family (pre 1700)

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


Canada Mulherne migration to Canada +

Thousands of Irish families left for North American shores in the 19th century. These people were searching for a life unencumbered with poverty, hunger, and racial discrimination. Many arrived to eventually find such conditions, but many others simply did not arrive: victims of the diseased, overcrowded ships in which they traveled to the New World. Those who lived to see North American shores were instrumental in the development of the growing nations of Canada and the United States. A thorough examination of passenger and immigration lists has disclosed evidence of many early immigrants of the name Mulherne:

Mulherne Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Luke Mulherne, aged 30, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Breeze" from Dublin, Ireland
  • Mary Mulherne, aged 30, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Breeze" from Dublin, Ireland
  • Patrick Mulherne, aged 26, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Breeze" from Dublin, Ireland


The Mulherne 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)


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