Mac MaolŠin

Mac Maoláin: Ceanannas Mide to Osrai (Kells Meath to Kells Ossary in Co. Kilkenny

The McMullen family of Kilkenny based on oral tradition, genetic match and historic research are descended from sons of the Luighne and Gaileanga Mora, territory of Ui Leochain (O"Lohan) circa 10th century . Identified in the Annals of Ireland as Lords of the Gaileanga and Luighne,  Meath, Cavan and Tara (Breagh or Brega), now represented by the modern baronies of Morgallion, Lower Kells, Castlerahan, Clankee Cavan, Skreene and Duleek Meath.

In 1037AD, Laidcenn (variant Laidghnen) anglicised Lynan, the son of Maolán, son of Eccnigh (variant Ecneach) Ui Leochain, was elected king of the Gaileanga Mora. He married the daughter of the Gott Malachi of the Southern Ui Neill. Lynan is also recorded in "the charters" to the Book of Kells as Laity or erenagh (Gille Colum) for the Alumnus of Kells and witness to the freedom of Kildalkey (a transfer of land by Malachi to the monastic community). His brother Maelan was a lector in the Kells monastry. Lynan and his wife travelled on a pilgrimage to Rome and are recorded in Irish Annals 1051AD as having died in the east on their return. His son Leochan mac maic Maolán became elected king of the Gaileanga in 1060AD. No further reference to the territorial family of Lohan is made from the point of this marriage with the rigdamna (royal) Ui Neill dynasty forward in Irish Annals.  All subsequent entries use the verbal identifiers of mac, maic and Mic Maoláin, verifying the collateral emergence of our surname McMullen. The last noble Mac Mic Maoláin tigherna (king) of the Gaileanga Breagh (Brega) is recorded as slain in 1144AD.

Descendants of this family appear to have migrated following inter-tribal conflicts and the invasion of the Normans to the provinces of Connacht (Cluain Mhic Mhaolain Kilnamanagh), Leinster (Ballymullen alias Mc.Mullen Abbyleix) and Louth (Ardee Ballymullen).  In the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries, they can be found associated primarily with monastic settlements and occupationally as clergy, builders and erenaghs (administrators of church properties) plus maintainers (farmers) of termon churchlands.

It is from one of these families 1st located in Ardmagh (Brega) Co. Meath that our Kilkenny family descend (a James MacMullen b.c 1620).  In the south of Ireland, McMullen families are recorded 17th to 20th century employed as erenaghs in Monastervin Kildare, builders of Mills in Co. Kilkenny, administrators of the Grand Canal project in the midlands, architects and builders of many fine churches in Co. Cork and as merchants and manufacturers in Callan, Kells and Dublin.

For full details and documents referencing marriages, births, deaths, gravesites and occupational involvements of our agnatic descendant families in Callan, Kells and Castlecomer Co. Kilkenny, please contact the following email: