Recorded in the spellings of Muldoon, Melding and Meldon, this is a famous Irish surname of royal origins. It is specifically associated with the province of Ulster and particularly County Fermanagh. Historically it is said that the O'Maolduin's (as spelt in the Gaelic) were of royal birth, being styled as the kings of Lurg in the book known as 'The annals of Loch Ce'. However in about the year 1400 the clan was defeated in battle by the MacGuires, and whilst they continued to be of importance in Ulster, elsewhere in the country their power bases gradually faded away. It seems that in County Clare for instance, the Muldoons became Malones, whilst in County Sligo, where they inhabited the barony of Tireragh, they were virtually extinct by 1830. The surname has still some prominence in County Galway. The name means 'the fortress', and is a rare example of an Irish surname which is residential as most surnames derive from the nickname of the original chief. The prefix O' meanining 'descendant of' is rarely if ever found after the 18th century. Early recordings of the surname include Felim O'Muldoon, a commander of the Confederate army of Ireland in 1640. He was killed at the battle of Dungannon in 1642. A possible earlier recording is that of Connor O'Muldowne in Wexford in 1551, although there is some disagreement as to whether he was a Muldoon or a Muldowney. In the spelling of Meldon, this may be either Irish or occasionally English in origin. Austin Meldon of Dublin, (1843 - 1904), President of the Royal Society of Irish Surgeons, claimed descent from the Muldoons of Lurg.
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