The Irish surname Mulligan is an anglicized form of the Gaelic name Ó Maolagáin, a personal byname from a double diminutive of maol, meaning “bald, or tonsured” The Mulligan’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. During the years 1846 to 1851, one hundred and fifteen persons bearing the name Mulligan are listed on records of Irish famine immigrants who arrived at the port of New York. Today there are approximately 15,000 bearers of the name in the United States.
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