What’s in a name?

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The Molony coat of arms.

The Molony coat of arms.

The O’Molony surname and its more modern variants (Moloney, Maloney and Mullowney) all derive from the Gaelic Ó Maoldomnaig, meaning ‘descendant of a servant of Sunday’. The ‘e’ was inserted in the Molony surname in the eighteenth century to distinguish Catholic Molonys from their Protestant brethren. Omallun is another variant seen in the Petworth Archives and other documents. Dermot’s Christian name, an Anglicised version of Diarmuid, was common in the seventeenth century. Later it was more common to translate Diarmuid as Jeremiah—hence the 21st-century version of Dermot O’Mallun’s name would probably be Jeremiah Moloney.


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