Mac MaolŠin

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


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

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

Lynan had married the daughter of the Gott Maelsechlain (McLoughlin) son of Conchubar Maelsechlain, Clan Cholmain Southern Ui Neill,

Both Lynan and 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 Lynan and his wife as witnesses to the freedom of Kildalkey (transfer of land by Conchubar (high king) to that monastic community.

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

Lynan's was laity and his brother Maelan was a lector in Ceannanus=Kells, the monastic site and primacy head of this order, at that time, with recorded rotations from Kells to Derry, Iona and Dunkeld.

Lynan and Queen Mor, travelled on a religious pilgrimage to Rome and were 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 chieftain of the Gaileanga in 1060AD, but killed just six years later, in a conflict between the Meath and Brega lines of Mael Sechlain, who were competing for titles.

Territorial reference's (ie, Ui Lorcan/Leochain, both used by scribes earlier), appear from the point of Lynan's marriage with a rigdamna (royal) daughter of the Clan Cholmain "Southern Ui Neill" in the Irish Annals, shift to a clarifying use of verbal identifiers mac, maic and Mic Maoláin, verifying the collateral emergence of our surname anglicized McMullen.

The last noble Mac Mic Maoláin tigherna (chieftain) recorded by surname for the Gaileanga Breagh (Brega) was slain 1144AD, and according to antiquarian the Rev Patrick Woulfe, his tribal cluster had re-located at that time to the north of Dublin (Duleek Brega).

Our ancestors were mercenary Warriors (described in one early annal entry as "the sons of death") but also listed as noble families, titled Ecclesiatics, and erenaghs, who following inter-tribal conflicts and the subsequent invasion of the Normans, can be later  found recorded in several areas: Connacht (Cluain Mhic Mhaolain Kilnamanagh Rosscommon), Leinster (Ballymullen alias Mc.Mullen Wexford), Duleek/Dundalk (Rathmullen) Louth (Ardee Ballymullen), diocese & parish of Clonduff, townland of Cabra, Iveagh Co. Down and parish of Ahoghill Co. Antrim, to name a few.

During the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries, they are recorded linked in the annals, and also in the dynastic family pedigree of O'Reilly primarily in roles of an ecclesiastic nature.

Listed occupationally as clergy, builders and erenaghs (administrators of church properties) and maintainers (farmers) of termon church lands, our ancestors are found in the fiants, chancery entries, lordship family papers (Gormanston) land records, valuation, tithes, marriage and death records.

It is from one of these families last located in Ardmagh (Brega),  and Rathgillan (parish of Nobber, Co. Meath) our Kilkenny lines descend,  James McMullen b.1590> James McMullen b.1620 (forenames identified in the Gormanston registers)>James McMullen b.1650.

This James migrated with his family to Co. Kilkenny circa 1684 acquiring a lease for a property located on the river Nore, where along with his son John McMullen born 1672, built and operated a mill early 1700.


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

For full details and actual documents referencing these locations, marriages, births, deaths, gravesites genetic matching and occupational involvements of agnatic descendant lines, specifically those last located in Callan, Kells, Ballycuddihy and Aughamucky Castlecomer Co. Kilkenny, contact the following email:

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