Origin of the O'Loughlin Clan Name

This name comes from Mac Lachlainn and means son of Lochlann. Since lochlannach (Gaelic for lakes) was the term used by the Gaels to describe the Viking invaders from Norway, it is possible this surname is derived from descendants of those Norse who settled in the Uí Néill territory in the decades after their arrival on Rathlin island in 795.

It is known that a branch of the O’Neills took the name Mac Lochlainn and becme rival kings to the O’ Neills. The last Mac Lochlainn king was killed by King Brian O Neill and his son, Anrothan, went to Scotland and is the ascendant of the MacLachlans there.

O'Loughlin Clan

The O’Maelsechlainns of Meath are descended from the southern Uí Néill and for over five centuries they dominated the role of High King of Ireland. The most famous is perhaps Mael Sechnaill Mac Domnaill, who ruled from 980 to 1002, when he passed the title to Brian Boru. After the Battle of Clontarf in 1014 when Brian was killed, he resumed kingship until 1022.

The knight on the crest is thought to represent the soul guiding the body, or a mans journey through life. The knight is carrying a crossbow which with the armour dates this to the Middle Ages, much later than the origin of the clan but indicative of the modernising of the heraldry system that became widespread in 12th century Europe.

The family were recorded as O’Melaghlin and McLoughlin in the 17th century. Other names related are MacLaughlin, MacLoughlin and Laughlin.