LARKIN families descend from four distinct O'Lorcain septs, one from County Galway in Connacht. One from County Monaghan in Ulster. A third from Tipperary in Munster and the fourth from County Wexford in Leinster. They provided the forebears of the families named Larkin who are thus found in all four provinces of Ireland today. The most important of these was O'Lorcain of Leinster, of royal blood in that province, but dispossessed of their patrimony in the barony of Forth by the Anglo-Norman invadors. The name was taken to England where early records include Thomas Larkyng and Clare Sanders, who were married in London in the year 1546. James LARKIN (1876-1947) was the Irish Labour leader, born in Liverpool. He was organizer of the Irish Transport and General Worker's Union. He was deported from the United States of America in 1923 for his anarchistic activities, he continued at the head of the IT and GWU, organizing strikes and fostering strife until he was expelled in 1924. The tradition of surnames in Ireland developed spontaneously, as the population increased and the former practice, first of single names and then of ephemeral patronymics or agnomina of the nickname type proved insufficiently definitive. At first the surname was formed by prefixing 'Mac' to the father's Christian name or 'O 'to that of a grandfather or earlier ancestor. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournament. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. The arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe.
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