|O'Melaghlin of Meath
McLoughlin of Connacht
McLaughlin of Fermanagh (This may be wrong)
MacGillaghlin of Bregia
O'Loughnane of Tipperary
O'Loughlin of Clare
Maclachlan of Scotland
|An enquirer into the origins of the
McLaughlin surname in Ireland will soon discover that the
surname appears in nearly every county in Ireland. In the
Census of 1659, for example, the surname may be found not
only in the north of Ireland (Donegal, Londonderry,
Tyrone, etc) where we do expect to find it because of the
large McLaughlin of Tirconnell sept centered in those
counties, but also in the east (Dublin), the mid-regions
(Westmeath and Meath) and perhaps most surprisingly, in
the south (Tipperary and Cork), where there is no
evidence that a true McLaughlin sept ever existed. By
1909 with Matheson's "Special Report on Surnames in
Ireland," the surname "McLaughlin" was
found chiefly (75%) in Antrim, Donegal, Londonderry and
Tyrone; the "McLoughlin" spelling occurred
chiefly in Connought, but was found generally throughout
all of the counties of Ireland. A breakdown of this
surname by province showed 228 "McLaughlin"
entries in Ulster, 94 "McLoughlin" entries in
Connought, 7 "McLoughlin" entries in Munster,
and 62 in Leinster.
In contrast with this prevalence of the surname throughout Ireland, , we find only four septs which actually assumed the surname "MacLochlainn:"
In addition to these "true" MacLochlainn septs, it is common knowledge that the O Maoilseachlainns, Kings of Westmeath, originally anglicized their name to O'Melaghlin; but this spelling was soon replaced with the more common "MacLoughlin" spelling. This then accounts for most of the MacLoughlins appearing in source documents in the province of Leinster. But it appears as though the MacGiollaseachlainns (MacGillaghlins) also changed the spelling of their name to MacLoughlin as well and for the same reason: the original anglicized form of their name was replaced by the more common "MacLoughlin" spelling.
The name occurs much less often in the south of Ireland (only 7 entries in the province of Munster). But that it occurrs at all indicates that Woulfe is correct in stating that the O Lachtnainn surname (anglicized correctly to O'Loughnane) was corrupted to O Lochlainn and MacLochlainn, and then to MacLoughlin. This is most noticeable in the Hearth Money Rolls of 1665 in which the McLoughlin spelling is quite common in Tiperary, the homeland of the O Lachtnainn of Ely O'Carroll sept. From the scant number of McLoughlin entries in Matheson's report of 1909, however, it is obvious that although this transformation of the O'Loughnane surname into "MacLoughlin" did occur, it was relatively uncommon, despite the large number of McLoughlin entries in the Hearth Money Rolls over 200 years earlier. Most of the modern day descendants of this sept wound up with the more common O'Loughnane variants of Loughane, Loughman, Loftus, and Lawton. A few probably also bore the name "Loughlin or O'Loughlin."
Although the O Lachtnainns of Ely O'Carroll are the best documented of any O Lachtnainn sept in Ireland, other O Lachtnainn septs existed scattered across the provinces of Ireland as well, including one centered near Dublin, a second in Meath, and a third in Connought (followers of the O'Kellys). It is equally possible that individual memebers of these septs also had their names corrupted to "MacLoughlin" in the same process described for the O Lachtnainn of Ely O'Carroll sept of Tiperary.
With the plantation of Ulster, many Scottish names were introduced into Ireland, including that of the Maclachlans of Argyle, Scotland. This surname is simply a variant of "MacLochlainn," and is commonly found anglicized identically to "MacLaughlin," although in Scotland the form "Maclachlan" is more common. This plantation of Scottish "Maclachlans" into Ireland may account for some of the "MacLaughlin" entries in Ulster, particularly those of Antrim, Down and Monaghan.
The dropping of the "O's" and less often, the "Mac's" in Ireland is a well-documented phenomenon of the 17th and 18th centuries. Thus the O'Loughlins of Clare and any MacLoughlins who dropped the "Mac" from their names wound up with the same "Loughlin" or less commonly, "Laughlin", surname.
In addition, migrations of members of these MacLaughlin septs into other areas of Ireland apart from their traditional homelands are known to have occurred at various points in Irish history. A group of the O'Melaghlins of Westmeath who became "MacLoughlins" were either transplanted or dislocated into the west of Ireland during the Plantation Period (17th century); many of these settled in Roscommon County. The MacGillaghlins were displaced from their original landholdings at a much earlier date by the Norman-English barons and may represent those MacLoughlins appearing in the 1659 Census in Dublin, Louth and Monaghan. In addition, a branch of the MacLaughlins of Tirconnell is said to have migrated to Co. Mayo with some of the O'Donnells in about 1670, where according to O'Donovan, "they still hold the title of gentlemen." There were of course later migrations of individual MacLaughlin familes into the more prosperous urban regions of such cities as Dublin as well.
The personal name "Lochlan" or its variant in Irish, "Lachlan," forms the basis for the surname MacLochlainn (genitive form), meaning son of Lochlan, commonly anglicised to MacLaughlin or MacLoughlin; or from "Mag," the variant form of "Mac," to MacGlaghlin, MacGloghlin, etc. In Scotland the name most often takes the form "Maclachlan," but is routinely anglicised to McLaughlin in other countries. Contrary to popular belief the form "Mac" was never limited to Scottish usage but was the original Irish form, abbreviated to "Mc" or "M'" by English scribes.
Many interpretations have been advanced for the surname MacLochlainn, which is commonly said to have been of Norse origin, including "men of the fiord-land or lakes, strong at sea and sons of the sea." But these interpretations are based on the Irish root "Loch" meaning lough or lake and are clearly of Irish origin. In the ancient annals of Ireland, however, the homeland of the Norse invaders of the 9th and 10th centuries was invariably referred to by the annalists as "Lochlan," often found in the text as "Tir na Lochlannaigh" or the "land of the Norsemen."
Norse scholars influenced by the work of Marstrander believe the name "Lochlan" was a corruption of the Norse "Rogaland," a region of Norway from which many of the Norse invaders of the western isles emigrated. Irish experts (Woulfe and MacLysaght) indicate "Lochlan" was a Norse personal name, but there is no support for this thesis in traditional Norse genealogies and if the name did originate as a personal name amoung the Norse it did so in Ireland. Many have suggested that the name "Lochlan" therefor indicates intermarriage with the Norse and this may well have been the case, particularly in those families which were amoung the first to adopt the name.
While McLaughlin may appear to be a very common surname in Ireland, it is certainly not as ubiquitous as the Murphys or O'Connells. And when the different origins of the septs which eventually assumed this surname are taken in account, it is really not all that common at all. Regretably, no Irish antiquarian has to this date interested himself in the McLaughlin surname. MacLysaght, in his definitive work on Irish surnames, "Irish Family Names," treats the McLaughlins of Tirconnell and the O'Melaghlins of Westmeath in some detail, but gives only a passing reference to the "various MacLoughlin septs of Connought." Woulfe, in his work on Irish surnames, provides us with the welcome information that the surnames O'Loughnane and MacGillaghlin also tended to metamorphose into MacLoughlin. The research presented in these pages is an attempt by the author to rectify this ommision by Irish scholars. It is hoped that this material will be of interest to anyone bearing the surname "MacLaughlin," regardless of which part of Ireland or Scotland his ancestors came from.
|Incidences of the MacLaughlin surname
appearing throughout Ireland in 17th
1. Co. Donegal 1659 Census Inishowen Barony McLaughlin 63 McGlaghlin 76 Barony of Boylagh and Bonagh McGlaghlin 14 2. Londonderry Co. Londonderry City and County McLaughlin 04 Terkerin Barony McLaughlin 19 Kenaght Barony McLaughlin 30 3. Tyrone County Hearth Money Rolls 1665 Omagh Barony Longfield Parish Philip McLaughlin of Sopgaly Edmond " " Drumra Parish Donold oge McLaughlin of Cullbuke 4. Antrim County 1659 Census Baronys of Dunluce Carey and Kilconway McGloughlen 13 State Papers 1663 "The whole barony of Cary was by proviso set out for the payment of part of the Marquis of Antrim's debt, but was set out to .... " List of names includes: George McLaughlin 5. Westmeath County 1659 Census Barony of Clonlonan McLaughlin 10 Barony of Moygoishe Loughlin 07 6. Kings County 1659 Census Barony of Garriecastle titulado: Terence Melaghline, gent. townland: Gallen Barony of Phillipstowne titulado: Richard Loughlin, Esq. townland: Clontrell 7. Leitrim County 1659 Census Barony of Drumaheir and Rosclogeer McLoghlen 32 8. Roscommon County 1659 Census Barony of Boyle McLaghlin 08 Barony of Moycarnan MacLoughlin 05 Barony of Ballentabber O'Melaghlin 11 titulado: Neile O'Melaghlin, gent. townland: Cloonbellagh 9. Sligo County 1659 Census Barony of Tyreragh McGillaghlen 03 Loghlin 06 Barony of Tyrerell McLoghln 15 Barony of Culavin and Tiregh McGillaghlen 06 Loghlin 06 10. Wexford County 1659 Census Barony of Shelbyrne Loughnan 08 11. Kilkenny County 1659 Census Barony of Gawran McLoghlin 11 Loghman 06 12. Limerick County 1659 Census Barony of Owny McLoghlen 05 Persons transplanted in Ireland 1653-54 O'Hart "Landed Gentry" City and County of Limerick McLoghlen, Faylen " Mary " Thomas Loghlen, Catherine Ny " More Ny 13. County Clare 1659 Census Barony of Burren McLoghlen 07 O'Loghlen 06 titulado: Bryen O'Loghen, gent. townland: Coskerine Barony of Tulla McLoghlen 12 Barony of Bunratty Mcloghlin 10 14. Tipperary County 1659 Census Barony of Clanwilliam McLoghlin 11 Baronies of Eliogurty and Ikerim Loghlen and Meloghlen 10 Barony of Iffay and Offay McLoghlen and Meloghlen 10 15. Longford County 1659 Census Barony of Ardagh McLaughlin 15 16. Louth County 1659 Census Barony of Atherdee McLoghlin 11 17. Dublin County 1659 Census Barony of Balrothery Loghlin 09 "An Inquiry into the ownership and tenancy of lands owned by the religious houses of the city of Dublin" "The Reformation in Dublin" 1536-1558 "Town of Mareton - two messuages, 40 ac. arable, occupied by McLaghlyn and McLaghlyn Oge, worth p.a., 40s." Special Report on Surnames in Ireland Matheson 1909 Based on the birth indexes of 1890 (five entries and upwards) Surname total births By Province Principle Counties McLaughlin 391 Leinster 62 McLaughlin: About 75% in (var. McLoughlin) Munster 7 Antrim, Donegal & L'Derry; Ulster 228 a few in Tyrone; very few Connacht 94 very few elsewhere. McLoughlin: Chiefly in Dublin, and Connacht, but found generally throughout Ireland. O'Loughlin 40 Leinster 12 Principally found in Clare Munster 21 and Dublin. Ulster 3 Connacht 4 Loughlin 57 Leinster 18 Loughlin: Principally (var. Laughlin) Munster 7 found in Leitrim, Dublin, Ulster 22 and Kilkenny. Connacht 10 Laughlin: Principally found in Tyrone & Antrim Loughnane 13 Leinster 1 Munster 6 Ulster 0 Connacht 6 Loughman 9 Leinster 4 Munster 5 Ulster 0 Connacht 1 Loftus 34 Leinster 3 23 in Mayo Munster 2 Ulster 0 Connacht 29 Lawton 10 Leinster 1 7 in Cork Munster 7 Ulster 2 Connacht 0 Principle Names (by Province and County) Births in 1890 Ulster Donegal: Gallagher 196; Doherty 160; Boyle 102; O'Donnell 102; McLaughlin 81; Sweeney 50. L'Derry: Doherty 80; McLaughlin 68. Tyrone: Quinn 40; Mullan 39; Kelly 38; Donnelly 34; Gallagher 34; McKenna 33; Campbell 32; Hughes 31; Wilson 30; McLaughlin 29; O'Neill 29. Fermanagh: Maguire 44; McManus 30; Dolan 23; McGovern 23; Johnston 22; McHugh 20; Cassidy 17; Wilson 15; Thompson 14; Elliot 13; Irvine 13; McLoughlin 12. Connacht Leitrim: Kelly 30; Reynolds 30; Flynn 20; McLoughlin 20. Sligo: Brennan 31; McLoughlin 28. Surnames by Province Ulster Connacht Munster Leinster McLaughlin 228 McLoughlin 94 McLoughlin 7 McLoughlin 62 O'Loughlin 3 O'Loughlin 4 O'Loughlin 21 O'Loughlin 12 Loughlin 22 Loughlin 10 Loughlin 7 Loughlin 18 Lawton 2 Loughnane 6 Loughnane 13 Loughnane 1 Loughman 1 Loughman 5 Loughman 9 Loftus 29 Loftus 2 Loftus 3 Lawton 7 Lawton 1 Donegal Leitrim Clare Kilkenny Tyrone Sligo Cork Dublin Fermanagh Mayo Tipperary Longford L'Derry Roscommon Limerick Louth Antrim Meath Down Westmeath Monaghan King's Co.his