Mulheryn History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Irish surname Mulheryn 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 Mulheryn family

The surname Mulheryn 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 Mulheryn family

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

Mulheryn 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 because the general population had to rely on local official's understanding of how their name should be spelt, hence spellings in records often changed through a person's lifetime. The following variations for the name Mulheryn were encountered in the archives: Mulhearn, Mulheran, Mulherin, Mulhern, Mulherne and many more.

Early Notables of the Mulheryn family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Mulheryn family

Ireland became inhospitable for many native Irish families in the 19th centuries. Poverty, lack of opportunities, high rents, and discrimination forced thousands to leave the island for North America. The largest exodus of Irish settlers occurred with the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. For these immigrants the journey to British North America and the United States was long and dangerous and many did not live to see the shores of those new lands. Those who did make it were essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest and most powerful nations of the world. These Irish immigrants were not only important for peopling the new settlements and cities, they also provided the manpower needed for the many industrial and agricultural projects so essential to these growing nations. Immigration and passenger lists have documented the arrival of various people bearing the name Mulheryn to North America: John and Michael Mulheron, who settled in New York in 1804; James, John, Owen, Patrick, Thomas and William Mulhearn, who all arrived in Philadelphia between 1830 and 1860.



The Mulheryn 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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