Families of this name MILLIGAN or MILLIKEN descend from the O'Maolagain sept which held sway in County Donegal over a territory in the baronies of Boylagh and Raphoe. Their dispersal at the time of the confiscations and the plantation of Ulster has resulted in their now being found in almost equal numbers in Ulster, Connacht and Leinster, with a notable concentration in County Monaghan in County Mayo, and in the capital. The inland county of Monaghan, in the south of Ulster province, is bounded on the south by the Leinster county of Meath, on the east by Co, Armagh and on the west by Fermanagh and Cavan. Ireland is one of the earliest sources of the development of patronymic names in northern Europe. Irish Clan or bynames can be traced back to the 4th century B.C. and Mac (son of) and O (grandson or ancestor of) evolved from this base, the original literal meaning of which has been lost due to the absence of written records and linguistic ambivalences which subtly but inexorably became adopted through usage. Genealogists and lexographers accept that the patronymic base does not refer to a location, quite the contrary. The use of the prefix 'Bally' (town of) attaching to the base name, identifying the location. The base root was also adopted by people residing in the demographic area without a common ancestor. These groups called 'Septs' were specially prevalent in Ireland. The first Normans arrived in Ireland in the 12th and 13th centuries to form an alliance with the King of Leinster. Under Elizabeth I in the 16th century, settlers from England established themselves around Dublin, then under English control and Presbyterian Scots emigrated to Ulster, introducing English and Scottish roots. Notable members of the name include Alice MILLIGAN, who died in 1953, born at Omagh. She was a poetess of distinction, and a well known figure in the Irish literary movement. Edward James MILLIKEN (1840-1897), also a poet, was best known for his humorous contributions to 'Punch'. Richard Alfred MILLIKEN (1767-1815), a Cork attorney, is remembered as the author of 'The Groves of Blarney'.
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