McMullen last name popularity, history, and meaning

Find out how popular the last name McMullen is in the United States and learn more about the meaning, history, and race and ethnic origin of people in America who are named McMullen.

Meaning of McMullen

A surname of Irish origin meaning "son of Maolán," derived from the Gaelic name meaning "devotee of Saint John."

McMullen, like all of the last names we have data for, is identified by the U.S. Census Bureau as a surname which has more than 100 occurrences in the United States in the Decennial Census survey. The most recent statistics we have for the McMullen surname is from the 2010 census data.

Popularity of McMullen in America

McMullen is the 1742nd most popular name in America based on the data we have collected from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The McMullen surname appeared 20,545 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 7 people would have the surname McMullen.

We can also compare 2010 data for McMullen to data from the previous census in 2000. The table below contains all of the statistics for both years in a side-by-side comparison.

2010 2000 Change (%)
Rank 1742 1642 5.91%
Count 20,545 19,998 2.70%
Proportion per 100k 6.96 7.41 -6.26%

The history of the last name McMullen

The surname McMullen has its origins in the Scottish Highlands, tracing back to the 12th century. It is derived from the Gaelic words "mac" meaning "son of" and "Maoilìn," a pet form of the name "Maol," which means "tonsured" or "bald." The name was likely given as a descriptive nickname to someone who had a distinctive bald or tonsured appearance.

The McMullen name is believed to have first appeared in the Scottish counties of Argyll and Bute, where the earliest recorded bearers of the name lived. One of the earliest known references to the name is found in the Ragman Rolls of 1296, which list a Gillecrist McMullen as a landowner who swore fealty to King Edward I of England.

In the 15th century, a branch of the McMullen family settled in the town of Kirkcudbright, located in the historic county of Kirkcudbrightshire. This area was known for its wool trade, and it is possible that some McMullens were involved in this industry.

Notable individuals with the McMullen surname include John McMullen (1835-1892), a Scottish-born Canadian politician and businessman who served as a member of the Canadian Parliament. Another prominent figure was Sir Pertab Singh McMullen (1892-1979), an Indian civil servant and diplomat who served as the Governor of Sind and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces in the mid-20th century.

In the United States, one of the earliest recorded McMullens was James McMullen (1760-1836), an Irish immigrant who fought in the American Revolutionary War and later settled in Pennsylvania. The name also appears in historical records related to the American Civil War, with several McMullens serving in both the Union and Confederate armies.

Other notable individuals include Horace McMullen (1853-1944), an American businessman and politician who served as a member of the United States House of Representatives, and Rafe McMullen (1897-1976), a Canadian actor and theater director who was active in the early 20th century.

Throughout its history, the McMullen surname has been spelled in various ways, including McMullin, McMullan, and McMillon, reflecting the variations in pronunciation and recording practices across different regions and time periods.

Race and ethnic origin of people with the last name McMullen

We also have some data on the ancestry of people with the surname McMullen.

The below race categories are the modified race categories used in the Census Bureau's population estimates program. All people were categorized into six mutually exclusive racial and Hispanic origin groups:

  1. White only
  2. Black only
  3. American Indian and Alaskan Native only
  4. Asian and Pacific Islander only
  5. Hispanic
  6. Two or More Races

For the most recent 2010 census data, the race/ethnic origin breakdown for McMullen was:

Race/Ethnicity Percentage Total Occurrences
Non-Hispanic White Only 82.76% 17,003
Non-Hispanic Black Only 12.50% 2,568
Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only 0.42% 86
Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.44% 90
Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races 1.74% 357
Hispanic Origin 2.13% 438

Note: Any fields showing (S) means the data was suppressed for privacy so that the data does not in any way identify any specific individuals.

Since we have data from the previous census in 2000, we can also compare the values to see how the popularity of McMullen has changed in the 10 years between the two census surveys.

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 82.76% 84.70% -2.32%
Black 12.50% 11.92% 4.75%
Asian and Pacific Islander 0.42% 0.35% 18.18%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.44% 0.50% -12.77%
Two or More Races 1.74% 1.17% 39.18%
Hispanic 2.13% 1.37% 43.43%

Data source

The last name data and ethnic breakdown of last names is sourced directly from the Decennial Census survey, conducted every 10 years by the United States Census Bureau.

The history and meaning of the name McMullen was researched and written by our team of onomatology and genealogy experts.

If you have a correction or suggestion to improve the history of McMullen, please contact us.

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"McMullen last name popularity, history, and meaning". Accessed on July 14, 2024.

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