The Shield is: Or, a lion rampant sable in chief three mullets azure.
The Crest is: A dexter an sinister hand issuing from the wreath, brandishing a two-handed sword ppr.
The Motto is: "Miseris Succurrere Disco" - "I learn to succour the distressed"
Plant Badge: Holly seedling fructed Proper.
Septs: Baxter, Bell, Blue, Brown, MacNamell
Variant spellings for MacMullen are: MacMullan, MacMullin, McMillan, McMullan, McMullen, and McMullin.
Gaelic spelling: MacGhille Mhaolain.
The surname MacMullen emerged as a Scottish Clan or family in their territory of Argyllshire where they were recorded as a family of great antiquity seated with manor and estates in that shire. They appear to have been descended from the Buchanan Clan through Methlan a Buchanan Chief. They established territories in Loch Arkaig with a branch by Lock Tay. They acquired estates in Knapdale by a marriage with the MacNeils and also an important branch in Galloway where the name tended to become MacMullan.
Many clansmen of Highland families migrated from Scotland to Ireland during the 17th and 18th centuries. They were granted the lands of the native Catholic Irish. 25 MacMillan heads of families and 108 MacMullens settled in Antrim and Down, in the seventeenth century. The name should not be confused with the Irish O'Mullen.
However, to many, life in Ireland became a disillusionment. Conditions were little better than in their homeland. Poverty prevailed, and the religious conflicts remained except that now they were in a strange land and without the support and kinship of the clan. The New World beckoned to the adventurous.
Clansmen sailed aboard the small sailing ships known as the "White Sails"; ships such as the Hector, the Rambler, and the Dove, which plied the stormy Atlantic. These ships were originally designed for 100 passengers, but frequently sailed with 400 to 500 people on board. Many ships arrived with only 60 to 70% of their overcrowded passenger list, the rest dying at sea. The passage was expensive as well as dangerous, and many clansmen indentured themselves for as long as ten years to pay their passage.
In North America, the Highlanders settled Virginia, the Carolinas, Pictou, Nova Scotia, and the Ottawa Valley. Some of the first migrants wich could be considered a kinsman of the name MacMullen, or of that same Clan or family, were Archibald McMillan settled in Wilmington N.C. in 1774, along with Ivor and his wife Jean, James, Malcolm his wife Catherine and three sons; John McMillan was banished from the west country of England and arrived in New England in 1685; Alexander, Andrew, Christopher, David, Elizabeth, Thomas, and William McMullan, all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860; Alexander, Andrew, Easter, Jane, John and his wife Mary, Michael, Richard, Thomas and William McMulllin all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860.
Many prominent people enjoy the distinction of this name and they include: Brockway McMillan, American Military Systems; Edwin McMillan, Physicist; John McMillan, Diplomat; Professor William McMillan, Chemist; William McMullen, American Banker; Sir Alistair McMullin, Australian Grazier.
I should also mention a certain note of the "Mac" prefix. Mac is the Gaelic word for son. It is now often abbreviated to "Mc", but originally it was the longer word and normally followed by a space and then the surname. There is a tradition that Mac is Irish and Mc is Scottish, but this is false. Both variations are in wide use in both countries.
Source: Hall Of Names
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