The Clan/Sept History
The history of the name O Mulvihil dates back to a time before Irish names were
translated into English. The original Gaelic form of O Mulvihil was O
Maoilmhichil, which denotes a descendant of a devotee of St. Michael.
Many spelling variations of the surname O Mulvihil can be found in the archives.
One reason for these variations is that ancient scribes and church officials
recorded names as they were pronounced, often resulting in a single person being
recorded under several different spellings. The different spellings that were
found include Mulvihil, O'Mulvihil, Mulvahil, Mulvahill, Mulvihill and many
First found in county Roscommon.
A great mass of Ireland's native population left the island in the 19th century,
seeking relief from various forms of social, religious, and economic
discrimination. This Irish exodus was primarily to North America. If the
migrants survived the long ocean journey, many unfortunately would find more
discrimination in the colonies of British North America and the fledgling United
States of America. These newly arrived Irish were, however, wanted as a cheap
source of labor for the many large agricultural and industrial projects that
were essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest
nations in the western world. Early immigration and passenger lists indicate
many people bearing the O Mulvihil name: Bernard and Patrick Mulvihil settled in
Philadelphia in 1878; John, James Mulvihil settled in Philadelphia in 1844;
Michael and Patrick Mulvihil settled in Pennsylvania between 1840 and 1860..
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