This interesting surname is of Irish origin, and is the Anglicized form of the Gaelic O' Maoilmhichil, son of the devotee of (St.) Michael. Michael is a personal name of Hebrew origin which means "who is like the Lord"; this was the name of one of the archangels, the leader of the heavenly host, and hence the patron of the christian warrior. The name became popular from the 12th Century onwards. The namebearers claim descent from Maol Mhichil, who was a chief of Siol Muireadhaigh in the early 9th Century. The surname is now found in many parts of Ireland, however it has been changed to Mulville and Melville in Counties Clare and Galway, and to Mitchell in Ulster. The modern surname can be found as Mulvihill, Mulville, Malville and Melville. Cornelius Mulvihill married Julia Horan on February 17th 1848 at Currow Roman Catholic Church, County Kerry, Ireland. Among the sample recordings in Canada are the marriages of Martin Mulvihill and Mary Wilson on January 1st 1865 at Renfew, Ontario and of Honora Mulvhill and Timothy Hally on February 7th 1864 at Renfew, Ontario. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Owen O' Maolmichil (christening), which was dated 1653, County Clare, Ireland, during the reign of The Commonwealth, Oliver Cromwell, "The Great Protector", 1649 - 1654. 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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