What is the origin of the last name Mullen?

The last name Mullen is of Irish origin and is derived from the Gaelic surname Ó Maoláin, meaning "descendant of Maolán," with Maolán being a personal name derived from the word "maol" meaning "bald" or "tonsure." The surname Mullen has various spellings and regional variations, including Mullooly and Millin, and has been found predominantly in counties Donegal, Tyrone, and Cavan in Ireland. Over time, the name Mullen migrated to other countries through Irish immigration, particularly to the United States and Canada.

Countries of origin for the last name Mullen

The last name Mullen is of Irish origin and is derived from the Irish surname Ó Maoláin. The prefix Ó indicates “descendant of” and Maoláin is a personal name that means “bald” or “clean-shaven” in Irish. Therefore, the surname Mullen can be translated as “descendant of the bald or clean-shaven one.”

The name Mullen has several variants, including Mullan, Mullens, Mullins, and Mullis. These variations are common in different regions and can be attributed to phonetic changes over time, as well as regional dialects.

Mullen is a relatively common surname, particularly in Ireland and among Irish diaspora communities. The name is most prevalent in the counties of Donegal, Mayo, and Dublin in Ireland, where the family roots can be traced back for centuries.

In the United States, Mullen is a fairly common surname, with a notable concentration in the states of New York, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. This can be attributed to significant Irish immigration during the 19th and early 20th centuries, particularly following the Great Famine in Ireland.

Many individuals with the surname Mullen have made notable contributions in various fields. One such example is John Mullen, an Irish-born American journalist and publisher who founded the New York Daily News in 1919. Another notable figure is Brian Mullen, a former professional ice hockey player who played in the National Hockey League (NHL) during the 1980s and 1990s.

The etymology of the surname Mullen provides insights into the cultural and historical context of Ireland. The use of personal names as part of surnames was a common practice in Gaelic societies, where individuals were often identified by their association with a notable ancestor or physical characteristic. In the case of Ó Maoláin, the connection to the personal name Maoláin suggests the importance of baldness or a clean-shaven appearance in the context of Irish society.

The study of genealogy and surname etymology offers a fascinating window into our ancestral connections and historical roots. While the specific meaning and origin of the name Mullen are now known, further research and exploration of individual family histories may unveil additional insights and personal connections.

Interesting facts about the last name Mullen

  • The surname Mullen has Irish origins and is derived from the Gaelic name Ó Maoláin, meaning “descendant of Maolán.”
  • The name Maolán is derived from the Irish word “maol,” meaning “bald” or “tonsure,” and was used as a nickname for someone who had shaved their head as a religious act.
  • Mullen is a relatively common surname in Ireland, particularly in the provinces of Ulster and Connacht.
  • There are several different variations of the surname Mullen, including Mullins, Mullan, and Mulligan.
  • Many individuals with the surname Mullen migrated from Ireland to other countries, particularly the United States, Canada, and Australia, during periods of economic hardship in Ireland.
  • Notable individuals with the surname Mullen include Larry Mullen Jr., the drummer for the rock band U2, and David Mullen, an American contemporary Christian musician and composer.
  • The Mullen surname is also found in other countries with Irish diaspora communities, such as the United Kingdom and New Zealand.
  • The Mullen family motto is “Perseverantia Vincit,” which translates to “Perseverance conquers.”
  • There are several places named Mullen or Mullens in the United States, including Mullen, Nebraska, and Mullens, West Virginia.
  • The Mullen surname is associated with various coat of arms and tartans, representing different branches of the family.

Name Rank


There are around 37502 people with the last name Mullen in the US

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