Recorded as Mulhern, Mulherrin, Mulkerrill, Mulkerin, Mulkerrin, Mulkerrins, and others, this is an Irish surname. It is quite widespread both in t Galway and South Connemara. It appears to be a fusion of two distinct Gaelic surnames. These are O'Maoilchiarain, which translates as descendant of the devotee of St. Ciaran, a byname from "ciar", meaning black, and O'Maoilcearraill, meaning the descendant of the devotee of St. Caireall. This name is associated with the parish of Clonkennkerrill near the small modern village of Gurteen, in Co. Galway. The surname is first recorded in the early 11th Century and other early recordings include Maelisa O'Mulkieran who died in 1197. He was the bishop of Clogher whilst Denis O'Mulkieran who died in 1224, was the bishop of Elphin. Fr. John Mulcheran, who was hanged and quartered on December 11th 1589, was one of the many Ulster martyrs. Other recordings include the birth of Patrick, the son of Peter and Mary Mulkerrin, on February 6th 1864 at Athenry, Co. Galway; and the birth of Bryan, the son of Daniel and Honora Mulkerrin, on November 15th 1865 at Western District, Co. Galway. Bridget Mulkerins and Thomas Conneely were married on February 21st 1870 at Moycullen, Co. Galway. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Teag O'Maoilchiarain. He was the erenagh of Eaglis Beag (Clonmacnois), and appears in the "Annals of the Four Masters", in the year 1012, during the reign of Brian Boru, High King of Ireland, 940 - 1014. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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