McLaughlin Family History
The McLaughlin ancient family history was found in the irishsurnames.com archives. The surname McLaughlin, also spelled McLoughlin, is used in modern Ireland as the anglicized form of two entirely distinct Gaelic septs, both of considerable importance. One of these was of royal status, and is not a Mc name at all but an O name, being O'Maoilsheachlainn in Irish. Up to the end of the seventeenth century it was always anglicized as O'Melaghlin, with some variant spellings. The McLoughlins themselves were another powerful and important sept, and were so up to the thirteenth century, when they began to decline in influence. This sept was called McLochlainn in Irish, meaning 'son of Lochlainn', which was a forename of Norse origin. This does not, however, imply that the family was itself of Norse stock. The McLoughlins of Ulster were, in fact, a senior branch of the Northern Ui Neill and their territory was in Inishowen in County Donegal. A minor sept in Connaught Province were akin to the McDermottts and the O'Connors. In Modern times bearers of the name are still mostly found in Counties Donegal and Derry.The McLaughlin family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including McLaughlin descendants.