The Irish surname Milligan is an anglicized form of the Gaelic name Ó Maolagáin, a personal byname from a double diminutive of maol, meaning “bald, or tonsured” The Milligan’s were lords of a territory called Tir MacCarthain (in the baronies of Boylagh and Raphoe, County Donegal). They also held sway in the adjacent counties of Fermanagh and Monaghan up to the mid 17th Century, when they were largely dispossessed in the Plantation of Ulster. By 1659, the family had migrated southwards, and were found in considerable numbers in the Longford-Westmeath area. Today there are approximately 22,000 bearers of the name in the United States.
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