Mulholland Coat of Arms

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

(Springvale, co. Down; confirmed by Betham, Ulster, to Andrew Mulholland, Esq., of Springvale, co. Down). Motto—Semper proecinctus. (Ballywater Park, co. Down). (Eglantine, co. Down). Az. a stag’s head erased ar. betw. three escallops or. Crest—An escallop gu.

Origin, Meaning, Family History and Mulholland Coat of Arms and Family Crest

This unusual surname is an anglicised form of the Old Gaelic “O Maolchalann”.  The Gaelic prefix “O” shows “grandson”, or “male descendant of”, and the personal byname “Maolchalann”, a devotee of St. Calann. More common variations are: Mullholland, Mullholland, Mulhollande, Mulolland, Maulholland, Muolholland, Mulhholland, Meulholland, Moulholland, Mul Holland.

The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of Martha Mulhollan,  dated 1711, in the marriage of Patrick Smith. It was during the reign of Queen Anne of England, who was known as “The Last Stuart Monarch”,  dated 1702-1714.  Surname all over the country became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation.  It came to be known as Poll Tax in England.  Surnames all over the country began to develop with unique and shocking spelling varieties of the original one.

Some of the people with the name Mulholland who arrived in the United States in the 17th century included Owen Mulholland, who arrived in Virginia in 1750. Some of the people with the surname Mulholland who arrived in the United States in the 19th century included Daniel Mulholland, who landed in New York in 1811.  Eleanor Mulholland, who arrived in New York in 1811.

Mulholland Coat of Arms Meaning

The two main devices (symbols) in the Mulholland blazon are the escallop and stag’s head. The three main tinctures (colors) are argent, or and azure .

Argent is the heraldic metal Silver and is usually shown as very pure white. It is also known more poetically as pearl, moon (or luna) 1Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 2A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11.

Or is the heraldic metal Gold, often shown as a bold, bright yellow colour. It is said to show “Generosity and elevation of the mind” 3The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35. Later heralds, of a more poetic nature liked to refer to it as Topaz, after the gemstone, and, for obvious reasons associated it with the Sun 4Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In drawings without colour it is usually represented by many small dots, or by the letter ‘O’ 5A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P76-77.

Azure is the heraldic colour blue, usually quite a deep, dark shade of the colour (there is a lighter blue that sometimes occurs, known as celestial azure). If colour printing is not available then it can be represented by closely spaced horizontal lines in a scheme known as “hatching” 6Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26. The word is thought to originate from the Arabic lazura and it represents the colour of the eastern sky. It is also said to be the colour associated by the Catholic Church with the Virgin Mary and hence of particular significance 7The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P150.

The escallopoccurs often in arms, represented as the outside of the shell, sometimes “fluted” of a different colour 8A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Escallop. It has been part of heraldic tradition almost from the beginning of the art, Henry III of England awarded Gules, 3 escallopes argent to Herbert de CHAMBERLEYNE in the 13th century, and it is present in the heraldry of almost all countries 9A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P299. It is believed that they were adopted as badges of those going to the Holy Land and can be found in the arms of many a crusading family. Hence Wade’s suggested association of the scallop with those that “complete long journeys to far countries” 10The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P91.

We should be surprised to find the stag or buck, noble quarry of many a mediaeval hunt, being illustrated in many a coat of arms. 11Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 69. It shares many of the poses to be found with the lion, but also one almost unique to the deer, grazing, as if the animal is still unaware of the hunter’s approach. 12A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Deer. In common with all symbols related to the hunt we probably need look further for their intended meaning than the pleasure taken by the holder in such pursuits! 13The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P30

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References   [ + ]

1. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
2. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11
3. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
4. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
5. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P76-77
6. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26
7. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P150
8. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Escallop
9. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P299
10. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P91
11. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 69
12. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Deer
13. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P30