This most interesting surname is of Old Gaelic origin, and is the Anglicized form of the Gaelic name "O'Maoilmhiadhaigh", which is composed of the Gaelic prefix "O", male descendant of, and a personal name composed of the Gaelic "miadhach", honourable chief. The main sept of this name were settled in Co. Leitrim, where they were of considerable importance, and there are many references to this sept in the Annals of the Four Masters and the Annals of Loch Ce (circa 1600). The name is also found as Mulveagh in the modern idiom, while Mulvey, though associated with this name, is of an entirely different stock "O'Maoilmheada" in Co. Clare. The O'Maoilmhiadhaigh's were of the same stock as the MacRannals and O'Farrells and were chiefs of Tellachebhelland and Muintir Eolais, in south-west Leitrim. Robert Mulvagh married Ellen Courtney on January 5th 1863 at Abllysadare, Co. Sligo, while, a daughter, Margaret, was born to Robert and Ellen Mulvagh, on September 18th 1864, at Collooney, Co. Sligo. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of O'Maoilmhiadhaigh, which was dated circa 1610, in the "Annals of the Four Masters", during the reign of King James V1 of Great Britain, 1603 - 1625. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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