Mac MaolŠin

Mac Maoláin: Ceanannas Mide to Ceanannas Osrai                        (Kells Meath to Kells Ossory) Co. Kilkenny:


The McMullen family came to Co. Kilkenny from the baronies of Morgallion and Lower Kells Meath, territories that were historically linked to descendant sons of the Luighne who became overlords of Machaire Gaileang (Morgallion) during the 10th-12th centuries.

In 1037AD, Laidcenn (variant Laidgnen) anglicised Lynan, the son of Maolán d.1018AD and grandson of Eccnigh (variant Ecneach= Heaney) a Lord of the Luighne was elected king of the Gaileanga Mora.

Lynan married the daughter of the Gott Maelsechlain son of Conchubar Maelsechlain, Clan Cholmain Southern Ui Neill,

Lynan and his wife "Queen Mor" are recorded in "the charters" of the Book of Kells, listing him as king of the Luighne, Laity (Gille Colum= Alumnus of Kells) and witness to the freedom of Kildalkey (a transfer of land by Conchubar to that monastic community).

For a detailed understanding of this families monastic involvements, read our website page titled Alumnus of Columcille.

Lynan's brother Maelan was a lector in Ceannanus=Kells, the community "alumnus of columcille" at that time, which was the monastic head of this order, with recorded rotations from Kells to Derry, Iona and Dunkeld.

Lynan and Queen Mor, travelled on a religious pilgrimage to Rome and are recorded in Irish Annals 1051AD as having unfortunately died in the east during their return.

Lynan's son Leochan (Lohanmac maic Maolán was elected successor as king of the Gaileanga in 1060AD.

No further territorial reference's (ie, Ui Lorcan/Leochain) appear to be used  from the point of Lynan's marriage with a rigdamna (royal) daughter of Ui Neill in the Irish Annals, rather subsequent entries use verbal identifiers of mac, maic and Mic Maoláin, verifying the collateral emergence of our surname anglicized McMullen.

The last noble Mac Mic Maoláin tigherna (chieftain) of the Gaileanga Breagh (Brega) was slain 1144AD, and according to the antiquarian Rev Patrick Woulfe, located at that time to the north of Dublin (Brega).

Dispersal of this family following inter-tribal conflicts and subsequent invasion of the Normans, are recorded in several areas: Connacht (Cluain Mhic Mhaolain Kilnamanagh), Leinster (Ballymullen alias Mc.Mullen Wexford), Dundalk (Rathmullen) Louth (Ardee Ballymullen), the diocese & parish of Clonduff (townland of Cabra, Iveagh Co. Down and the parish of Ahoghill Co. Antrim.

During the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries, they will be found recorded in associations primarily of an ecclesiastic nature, but later listed occupationally as clergy, builders and erenaghs (administrators of church properties) and maintainers (farmers) of termon church lands. 

It is from one of these families last located in Ardmagh (Brega) Co. Meath that our Kilkenny family descended (James McMullen b.1590> James McMullen b.1620 (identified in the Gormanston registers)>James McMullen b.1650, who migrated with his family to Co. Kilkenny circa 1684.

In the south of Ireland, these McMullan/en families are documented 17th to 20th century in Monastervin Kildare, builders of Mills in Co. Kilkenny, administrators of the Grand Canal project in Dublin and the midlands, architects and builders of many fine churches in Co. Cork, merchants and manufacturers in Callan, Kells, Castlecomer, Carlow, Laois, Cork, managers of the Dublin Steam Packet Co and Sea Captain of transatlantic runs from Cobh (Queentown) and LIverpool to Quebec in Canada and Boston in USA.

For full details and actual documents that reference locations, marriages, births, deaths, gravesites genetic matching and occupational involvements of our agnatic descendant lines last located in Callan, Kells, Ballycuddihy and Castlecomer Co. Kilkenny, please contact the following email: 

Some evidence confirming your link to these families (genetic, documental, or oral  may be requested before forwarding those listed items.