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A Census of Ireland, circa 1659

The 'Census of Ireland' circa 1659 was compiled by Sir William Petty, edited by Seamus Pender and published by the Dublin Stationary Office in 1939. It is not a true census, giving only the names of the titualodoes (those with title to land) and the total number of persons, English/Scots and Irish, resident in each townland. It is arranged similar to that of the Civil Survey, but no descriptions of property are supplied, and represents the only known actual numbering of the people of Ireland prior to 1821. The census is arranged geographically by counties, baronies, parishes and townlands. In the cities the arrangement is by parish and street. At the end of the barony tables, the principal Irish families were listed and enumerated. There are no census returns for the five counties of Cavan, Galway, Mayo, Tyrone and Wicklow, plus no returns for four baronies in Cork and nine baronies in Meath. In the following list, the principal Irish Mulligan families and their number are listed, covering counties Antrim, Fermanagh, Monaghan, Longford and Westmeath. The Compiler of the Census appears to take "principal" names to mean three or more families with the same surname in a barony or group of parishes.

Baronies of Dunluce, Cary & Kilconway

Mullegan ……………….. 7

Parish of Clones, Aghavea & Devenish

O'Mulligan ……………….. 18

Parishes of Boho, Rossorry, Cleenish, & Killesher

O'Mullican ……………….. 5

County not divided into baronies.

O'Muligan ……………….. 9

Barony of Ardagh

Mullegan ……………….. 5

Barony of Granard

Mullegan ……………….. 16

Barony of Fore

Mullgan & Mulligan ……….8

Barony of Corkaree

Mullican ……………….. 5

Total number of Principal Irish names and their numbers - 73

(1) This statistical census can be crossed referenced with the Hearth Money Tax rolls, which survive in good numbers for most the counties list in the census. For example, the rolls covering County Donegal only record in the name of John O’Mulligan in the parish of Donaghmore.

(2) By far, the most significant groups of Irish O’Mulligans are those found in Counties Fermanagh and Longford/Westmeath.

(3) The Census of Ireland circa 1659 provides a useful tool to assess the distribution of native Irish and immigrant Scottish Mulligans by the mid 1600s. It will be noted, for example, that seven native Irish Mulligan names appear in north Antrim, in contrast, most of the Scottish Mulligans settled in south Antrim.

A Census of Ireland, circa 1659. With Supplemental Material from the Poll Money Ordinances (1660-1661) edited by Seamus Pender. 1939, reprinted 1997 by Clearfield Publishing Company, 200 E. Eager Street, Baltimore MD 21202. Indices. 946 pp.

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