Mullay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Irish name Mullay was originally written in a Gaelic form as O Maolmhuaidh, which is derived from the word "muadh," which has the dual meaning of "noble" and "big and soft." [1]

Early Origins of the Mullay family

The surname Mullay was first found in County Offaly (Irish: Uíbh Fháilí) originally the Kingdom of Uí Failghe, located in central Ireland in the Province of Leinster, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

Albin O'Molloy or Alpin O'Moelmhuaidh (d. 1223), was Bishop of Ferns, a native Irishman, "who became a Cistercian monk at Baltinglass, and eventually rose to be abbot of that house. In Lent 1186, when John, archbishop of Dublin, held a synod at Holy Trinity Church, Albin preached a long sermon on clerical continency, in which he laid all the blame for existing evils on the Welsh and English clergy who had come over to Ireland. On 5 Nov. he was appointed by Pope Innocent III, with the Archbishop of Tuam and Bishop of Kilmacduagh, to excommunicate the Bishop of Waterford, who had robbed the Bishop of Lismore." [2]

Early History of the Mullay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mullay research. Another 149 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1110, 1660, 1641, 1652, 1640, 1690, 1663, 1669, 1667, 1767, 1764, 1767, 1742, 1702 and 1758 are included under the topic Early Mullay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Mullay 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 Mullay revealed spelling variations, including Molloy, Mulloy, Miley, O'Molloy, O'Mulloy, Mullee and many more.

Early Notables of the Mullay family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family at this time was John O'Molloy of English parish, Sugawn chief, Lord of Fercal (Feara Ceall), Offaly Francis Molloy or O'Maolmhuaidh ( fl. 1660), was an Irish theologian and grammarian, a native of the county of Meath, Ireland. "The family of which he was a member had extensive landed possessions in the district known as O'Molloys' Country, and some of them engaged actively in the Irish movements from 1641 to 1652." [2] Charles Molloy (1640-1690), was an Irish lawyer of the Middle Temple, born in County Offaly. He was "a native of King's County and was probably a member of...
Another 154 words (11 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Mullay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Mullay migration to the United States +

Irish families left their homeland in astonishing numbers during the 19th century in search of a better life. Although individual reasons vary, most of these Irish families suffered from extreme poverty, lack of work opportunities, and exorbitant rents in their homeland. Many decided to travel to Australia or North America in the hopes of finding greater opportunities and land. The Irish immigrants that came to North America initially settled on the East Coast, often in major centers such as Boston or New York. But like the many other cultures to settle in North America, the Irish traveled to almost any region they felt held greater promise; as a result, many Irish with gold fever moved all the way out to the Pacific coast. Others before that time left for land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula, or the Maritimes as United Empire Loyalists, for many Irish did choose to side with the English during the American War of Independence. The earliest wave of Irish migration, however, occurred during the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s. An examination of early immigration and passenger lists has revealed many people bearing the Mullay name:

Mullay Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Mullay, who landed in Connecticut in 1811 [3]
  • William Mullay, who landed in New York, NY in 1815 [3]
  • Philip Mullay, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1828 [3]

New Zealand Mullay migration to New Zealand +

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:

Mullay Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Charles Mullay, aged 27, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Earl Granville" in 1880
  • James Mullay, aged 22, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Earl Granville" in 1880
  • Michael Mullay, aged 20, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Earl Granville" in 1880


The Mullay 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: Malo mori quam foedari
Motto Translation: I would rather die than be disgraced.


  1. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Supplement to Irish Families. Baltimore: Genealogical Book Company, 1964. Print.
  2. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  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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