VARIATIONS: McMuldrough, Muldrough, McMuldroch, McMuldrow, McMuldro, Muldrou, Muckldrough, McMuldrew, Muldrove, Mulder

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This is the Muldrow (et variations) History as compiled (shorthand here) by John McMuldroch

The Origin of the Family Name

It is the view of Edward McLysaght (former Chief Herald of Ireland ), Cairney etc. that McMuldroch/ Muldrow/ Muldrew etc are variants of O`Maoldaraighe (O`Muldory, O`Mulderry) a Donegal name prominent in the 10th, 11th and 12th Centuries and a founding family of the O`Donnell Clan. John Harts "Irish Pedigrees" refers to O`Muldory in the Mulroy pedigree as an ancestor of O`Maoldaraighe descended fro Anmire son of Seadneach brother of Fergus who is No91 in the O`Donnell pedigree. No 100 in the Mulroy pedigree is Maoldarach (darach is Irish for oak; a quo O`Maoldaraighe). Cairney in his book "Clans and Families" of Ireland and Scotland" considers Muldrew and Muldragh to be linked to O`Muldory and part of the O`Donnell Clan or more accurately Cinel Connell or Clan Connell of which St Columba was a famous member.

The Family in Scotland

McMuldroch/McMuldrow have been associated with Galloway in SW Scotland for some considerable period of time. The earliest reference is 1538 but a local historian considers the family were in Galloway well before that. The family were mainly tenant farmers on lands owned by the Stewarts and the Gordons. There are three branches of the family which have been connected:

Minnigaff McMuldrochs

Minnigaff is a small village on the banks of the River Cree in Wigtownshire, SW Scotland. The earliest record of a McMuldroch in this area is 1538. A Charter referring to the Carrick area (close to Minnigaff) mentions Wil. Makmulzeroch in Little Ferding. Mr Truckell a well known expert on the Galloway area and its families is of the view that this is a variant of McMuldroch. Black in his Surnames of Scotland says that in Mid Scots "lz" is pronounced "ll" as in the French "Mouille". Other examples Archibald MacMulyeroch servitor to George Stewart of Baltersane 1605, Alexander McMulzerdoch who signed the national covenant list in 1638 in Minnigaff and Bessie McMulzeroch mentioned in a Will in 1592. The Archibald mentioned above also spelt his name McMuldeoch (1631) and Murdoche (1621). In my view the name at this time was McMulderoch ( cf Maoildaraighe).

Mr. Truckell is of the view that McMuldroch was in Galloway much earler than 1538. All the Galloway surname references of the last century refer to McMuldrow and McMuldroch as variants of the same surname. Trotter in his book "Galloway Gossip"1901 describes the name as follows:-

" Usual Wey McMuldroch/ Familiarly Muldroch/ Genteel Wey Muldrow."

"Macs in Galloway" a paper published in 1888 spells the name "McMuldroch - row".

Minnigaff was in the heart of the Old Galloway nation which was a kingdom between 1000 - 1235.

There are only three McMuldrochs left in the area. Betty McMuldroch is the eldest and lives in Minnigaff. She can trace her family back to the 1690s. The name appears frequently in the the Parish registers of Minnigaff and Penningham for births, deaths and marriages. It also appears in the Kirk Session Records. This was the church court. Examples are;-

Jan 29th 1695 George McMuldroch in Minnigaff was detailed as a breaker of the solemn fast by threshing corn.

Feb 10th 1734 Janet McMuldroch in Minnigaff guilty of fornication by being with child to John McCammond.

Kilmarnock McMuldrochs

Betty's Gr Gr Gr grandfathers brother was a John McMuldroch (born 1777) who moved to Colmonel in Ayrshire, Scotland and eventually on to Kilmarnock which is a major town in Ayrshire. George McMuldroch who was born in Kilmarnock in 1805 had eight children . One of the children of his son John , Archibald moved to the US. He had four children Marion, Margaret, Jean and John. Another son had one son called Peter who moved to Canada in 1909. George also had a son Robert who was born in 1844. His son John moved to Liverpool to start a carpet cleaning business. Johns eldest son Robert was a Major in the Liverpool Scottish and fought at the Battle of the Somme in the 1914-18 War as did his younger brother Archibald who was in the Liverpool Kings Regiment.

In the 1880s a James McMuldrow lived in Kirkcudbright near Minnigaff . He had four sons Peter, Charles , George and Alexander.The son Peter lived in London most of his life. He married Blanche Ethel..... and had a son and two daughters. The son was Peter McMuldrough, and the daughters were Blanche Helen Annie McMuldrow and Betty Mitchell McMuldrow.

The Witch

Janet McMuldroch was burnt at the Stake in Dumfries 1671 for witchcraft. The court records are very detailed. Nine people gave evidence against her for amongst other things making their cows dry or killing their children.

The Family in Ireland

In the Annals of the Four Masters there are lots of references to O`Maoldaraighe and O`Muldory. They were Princes of Tirconnel (Donegal).The last famous member was Flaherty O`Muldory , described as Lord of Kinel Connell and Kinel Owen and heir presumptive to the throne of Ireland. He died in 1197 at the age of 59. After that date the family fall into obscurity with the O`Donnell side of the clan becoming more prominent. In my view the family of our many name variations (which is not uncommon for Gaelic names) moved east settling in County Down and Armagh. Muldrew and Muldragh still exist in Armagh and County Down. From County Down the family moved to the US and much earlier a branch moved to Scotland. There was frequent movement between Galloway and Ireland and many of the Clans in the West of Scotland are of Irish origin.

The Family in the U.S.

There was a Major Hal Eustace in the 1950s whose mother was a Muldrow. What follows is quotied from his letters of the '50s:

"As I stated previously the American Muldrows apparantly came from Ballynahinch, County Down, Nortern Ireland about 1730. With them at Ballynahinch were McElroy and Irvine families and those families apparatly came to America with the Muldrows.The families were much intermarried through the years of being together in America and Ireland"

Hal continues and describes:

Hal had found three early implantations of Muldrows in America but suspected there was a fourth. Andrew Muldrough living in Virginia as early as 1745. His sons were John and Hugh. Hugh Muldroh lived about the same time in Pencader Hundred of New Castle County. Delaware, near the eastern shore. His sons were Andrew, John, David and probably Robert. This branch had male members as late as 1825.

The third branch is the family of John Muldrough who was living on the Pee Dee River, Darlington District as early as 1763. This John had two wives. His first wife was Mary McLauchlin his second was Mrs Adam Cussack (nee Frances Orum). He had three daughters and sons John, William, David, Andrew, James, Hugh and Samuel. Descendants of this John had a small whetstone inscribed " J.McMuldroch- Bellynahinch-1706". Ballynahinch is in County Down, Northern Ireland.

"The descendants of the Andrew Muldrough above, of Virginia are the ones who were much intermarried with the McElroys and Irvines of Ballynahinch. Further there is strong evidence that John McMuldrough lived in Virginia near Andrew Muldrough before he went to South Carolina. We have never found out exactly what the relationship was between these three early settlers , Hugh of Delaware, Andrew of Virginia and John of South Carolina. The descendants of Andrew migrated from Virginia to Kentucky and later to Missouri.(Colonel Billy was one of these). The descendants of John are still in South Carolina and scattered across the southern tier of the states in Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas etc. The descent from John to Hal Esutace is 1 John 2James 3William 4James Boyd 5Joseph Burch 6 Pearl 7 Hal."

Colonel Billy was born in Kentucky in 1798. He settled near where the Citty of Hannibal Missouri is now. It is said that Mark Twain based one Colonel Mullberry Sellers, a central character in his book the Guilded Cage, on Colonel Billy. Twain or Samuel Clemens was born and raised where Billy settled. Colonel Billy started a new city as a promotion on the banks of the Mississippi called Marion City. Billy was a real estate promoter and salesman. The town was flooded out by the river and the project was a disaster. He made the Gold Rush in California in 1849. He remained in California until after the Civil War. He became a business partner of John Sutter, the man on whose land the first gold strike was made in California. Billy aquired from Sutter a deed of property formerly held by the Russian Fur Trading Company during Mexican occupancy, which ended in 1848. The property now known as the Russian River Valley ,is worth a fantastic sum, however, Billy never got it. The US government never would recognise the validity of the Ruusians`s possessions under Mexican sovereignty.

"Col Bill's branch of the family is (remember Hal was writing in the 50`s) nearly extinct in the Muldrow name. All that remains is one 45 year old man living in St Louis who has only a 16 year old daughter named Betty. Her fathers name is Frank Richardson Muldrow, and he is employed by one of our largest chemical companies, Monsanto."

Hal referred to his (Hal's) relative Colonel Robert Muldrow of the US Air Force whose uncle was Major General Henry L Muldrow commanding general of the 45th US Army Division in Oklahoma who fought with his division in Europe in World War II and in Korea. Hal said he shared information with the sons of two other Muldrow girls, Rev James English Coursar of Savannah , Georgia and Mr Donald Mackintosh of Florence, South Carolina.

The Family in Canada : Canadian McMuldrochs

There are a number of families in British Columbia who stem from Peter (of Scotland) mentioned above.

The Muldrew Family

Otherwise.....consider Ken Muldrew, also of Canada....

from Ken Muldrew's homepage

snarfed directly from Ken's page

Muldrew Genealogy

The Origin of the Species

The following brief history was sent to me by James F. Muldrew of England.

Over the years there has been much speculation in my family as to the origins of the Muldrew surname; Scots, French Hugenot and Dutch have all been suggested. From my own research I have little doubt that it is native Irish. One thing is certain, it is extremely rare in Ireland. I only know of two distinct family lines, and each of them come from the same small geographical area in county Armagh in Northern Ireland.

So far as I can tell the name is an Anglicised form of the Gaelic, O'MAOLDORAIDH, pronounced O - MOIL-DRE, a pronunciation which survived in county Armagh until forty years ago and which means descendant of the servant of a recalcitrant king. They came from Tyreconnel, which is now part of the modern County Donegal in the Irish Republic. Though still very rare there are still traces of them to this day on the Atlantic coast near the town of Donegal. Their rarity is due to two factors; they were all but wiped out some nine hundred years ago in a local battle in Donegal; and perhaps more speculatively, one family moved from Tyreconnel to Armagh following the flight of the last of the native Irish Earls in the early seventeenth century and the confiscation of their lands by the crown, at which time the O'Maoldraidh name was Anglicised, like those of others and they changed their religion to Protestant, becoming Protestant being the only way native Irish were able to hold land in any quantity or of any quality.

There may have been two original families occupying two farms at Teemore in the 1860s, near Tandragee in County Armagh. I do know that two younger sons left for America in 1858 (Andrew) and 1860 (David) and others, whose names I do not know, left for New Zealand, Australia and Canada, while the elder brothers William - my great grandfather, and John his brother or cousin, remained.

I suspect that most if not all the Muldrews spread throughout the world may originate in the first instance from Tyreconnel and then from Teemore near Tandragee County Armagh in more modern times. As well as the pleasure of making contact, I should be very interested and grateful to hear of any family histories which might confirm this or otherwise.

The United Kingdom Branch

From Will Muldrew of Milton Keynes, England:

My name is William James Muldrew. I've just finished at Rugby School where I held a scholarship, and am taking a year out before I go to university at Imperial College in London, probably to do physics. I'm currently working full-time at a small computer science R&D company specialising in computational intelligence, although how I got the job I cannot figure! The company is literally next door to me so it's a case of rolling out of bed and 9.25 in the morning! I'm heavily involved in music, having played bass guitar in a few bands, and my double bass in my county youth orchestra. I'm looking forward to a Cyprus tour in the spring which has been payed for by their government but it may be rather hot, and the Muldrews over here are rather fair skinned!

I have a sister - Beth Muldrew. She's 17 in January and is currently at Charterhouse school near London. She's also into music and plays the cornet and also the trumpet in the county youth orchestras.

My Dad (James Ferguson Muldrew) was born and brought up in Co. Down. As I said, his father was a grocer - T.F.Muldrew - and own quite a successful shop back in the 30s and 40s. Unfortunately my grandad died before I was born and so I know little of him. My grandma, Jeanette, moved over to England in the 70s, but she passed away last summer.

My Mum (Vivien Muldrew), although not a blood Muldrew, was brought up in Zimbabwe, and was the daughter of an R.A.F pilot and a nurse. Although I never met her father, her mother is still alive and well and emigrated to England abut 10 years ago.

The Canadian Branch

The Victoria settlement (by way of New Zealand)
from Mrs Leila Muldrew, Victoria, BC, Canada.

Her connecting ancestor being Henry Muldrew who was one of the sons of Hugh Muldrew and Mary Jane Heaney. She says in her letter that it "appears that Henry was left in Ireland in the care of his maternal grandparents after his mom died while his other five siblings journeyed to NZ to join their father. Henry emigrated to Victoria BC ca 1906, and worked for his uncle Joseph Heaney who started a horse and dray business here in 1890."

Henry Muldrew was born on 11 March 1885 at Ballynagarrich co Down N Ireland. He married Elizabeth (Cissy) Ward and they had five children. Joseph Henry Ward (Leila's late husband), Mora Mary Jane, William Albert, Gerald Douglas and George Hubert.

The Ontario Settlement
I should know more about this, but I don't. My sincere apologies to all my close relatives for not remembering the stuff that's missing. Also, I'm just kludging this together, so some of the easy stuff is just missing because I haven't got to it yet. Hopefully Cecil will find the time to organize his Muldrew file and send me the goods; as for the rest of you, send anything you can.

David Muldrew and his wife Margaret (Maggie) emigrated from co. Armagh to Ontario. They were accompanied by 4 of David's brothers and one Sister. The sister later returned to Ireland because she "missed the little people"; the brothers all settled in Canada in the Muskoka region, probably where the Muldrew Lakes are situated, North of Sault Ste. Marie. David and his wife moved to Virden, Manitoba to become farmers. Their first child, Alfred William, born in 1889 married Jessie McTavish, May 24, 1922. The second child, Cecil, died in WWI. Other children: Walter, Agnes, others?

The Beach
The Winnipeg Clan have always spent the summers of their youth, and many more, at the beach; Victoria Beach on Lake Winnipeg. For us, the beach is an integral part of being Muldrew; our young lives sometimes intersected and mostly ran parallel, often separated by years or even generations, but tied together by the common thread of shared experience. It is a bond built on memories and meetings, and it is so central to our shared identity, that I will have more to say about it when I find some time (I encourage others to contribute as well).

The American Branch

A brief note from Tara Muldrew of Fort Worth, Texas, USA: (feel free to tease her about the capital letters)


The confusing part is that Issac was a freedman, and when he arrived he wasn't sold back into slavery. I want to know if our family had that much clout when they arrived, or was he "passale" (black, but light enough they couldn't tell the difference. My mother's father was mixed, and they had a lot when they were groing up, because no one knew my grandfather was black, until they met my grandmother. Intriguing huh?

The New Zealand Branch

From Max Muldrew, whom you see beneath this section.

James and Ruth Muldrew left Ireland and arrived in New Zealand in August 1874 with seven of their Children and a nephew. There appears to be some doubt about whether the nephew Nicholas Muldrew actually was assisted and sponsored by his uncle or not. Recent research suggests that his two sisters also came out at the same time. One Annie Jane Muldrew who later married in Northern Ireland Colin McLachlan. It is also believed that Annie Jane came out in the place of Margaret Muldrew her cousin who stayed in Northern Ireland.

They were later joined by their oldest son Hugh Muldrew, while their daughter Margaret stayed in Ireland and later married a Mr Clarke.

After arriving in Oamaru James Muldrew secured a job with the Hon. Mathew Holmes and they lived near where he worked on what is now known as Holmes’s Hill. Four years later in 1878 James and William bought 50 acres of land at Maheno about seven miles south of Oamaru where they lived for the remainder of their lives. Over the years the original farm was added to and remained in the family up until 1973 when it was sold.

* * * * *

James Muldrew was born in 1817 and his father was Hugh Muldrew and his mother was Margaret Thomson. Ruth Steele was born in 1825 and her father was William Steele and her mother was Mary S Donald.

Their children are as follows, Hugh Muldrew born in County Armagh, Northern Ireland in 1847, died 24-10-1919 in Maheno NZ. Elizabeth Muldrew, Margaret Muldrew, Mary Muldrew born 12-12-1853, Sarah Muldrew born 1854 in Northern Ireland and married Nicholas Muldrew then George Campbell then married Charles Adam. William James Muldrew born 10-12-1856 in Ballymacanuallen County Down, Northern Ireland, married Agnes McLeod, Ruth Muldrew, Martha Muldrew and Esther Muldrew.

James Muldrew was a Presbyterian Minister with a string of degrees and doctorates behind his name. At the age of fifty he gave up his ministry ( possibly because "he did not approve of the singing of hymns in church) and went farming in Northern Ireland, then at the age of fifty eight he then emigrated to New Zealand.

William James Muldrew married Agnes McLeod a neighbour who was the first born of James McLeod and Jane Morton of Springhills, Kakanui. Agnes was born on the good ship Cheviot enroute to New Zealand from Scotland and arrived here in 1862. They had eleven children James, Hugh, William, John, Agnes, Robert, Jean, Ruth, David, Andrew and Morton. John married Ruth Knox Chapman and had three children Ian James Muldrew, Alison Agnes Muldrew and Ruth Knox Muldrew. Ian married Eunice Isobel Ledley and they had four children Maxwell Ian Muldrew (the provider of this edited genealogy), Jan Christine Muldrew, Adair Denise Muldrew and Christopher John Muldrew.

The above is a brief comment on the family from Max. He has 2333 names in a genealogy programme on his computer. Max is also President of the South Canterbury branch of the Clan MacLeod Society and is the New Zealand President and Chief of the Society.

Send any and all things Muldrew to Ken Ken Muldrew