The Shield is:
Per fess argent and gules, in chief two lions rampant combatant azure
supporting a dexter hand couped at the wrist gules and in base an Irish harp or
stringed argent between two battle-axes proper.
The Crest is: A dexter arm couped below the elbow and erect holding two battle-axes in saltire proper.
The Motto is: "Pro Anis Et Focis", 'For Our Altars And Our Home'.
Variant spelling : O'Mulvihil, Mulville, Mitchell, Mulvahil, Mulvihill.
Gaelic spelling: O'Maoil Micil, O’MaolMhichil
It is anciently written that the O'Mulvihills, also known as "Mulville and Mitchell", were chiefs along with Mac Brennan in Corca Achlann, a large district adjoining Kinel-Dobhtha in the barony of Roscommon. This district formed part of the Tuatha in which was situated the Sleive Baun Mountain.
The family was to be found here on the banks of the Shannon River in Co. Roscommon in the 12th century. With the coming of the Norman invasions however, the prominence of the family declined.
From their lands in Roscommon they spread into Co. Longford where they are found in 1659. They are subsequently found in Clare, Kerry, and Limerick. In more modern times the name is given in Kerry and Limerick in the 1890 birth index.
Keatings History records Mulville and Mitchell as variant spellings of the name. This is confirmed in the 1890 index, with "Melville" in Kilrush Union of Co. Clare and Mitchell in Glenamaddy Union, Co. Roscommon both being given as variant spellings of Mulvihill.
The armigerous family of the name is found seated at Knockanira, Co. Clare in the 19th century. "Doonmulvihill" (now Doon) near Ennis in Clare marks an early location for the name in that county. The same line is given as being of Killowen in Co. Clare as well.
The name itself is said to have been taken from O Maoil Mhicil, meaning follower of St. Michael. The O'Mulvilles of Killowen, Co. Clare are said to have founded a branch of the family in Listowel, Co. Kerry.
Some of the first settlers of this name or some of its variants were: Bernard and Patrick Mulvihil settled in Philadelphia in 1878; John, James Mulvihil settled in Philadelphia in 1844 and others.
Source: The Book of Irish Families Great & Small
Michael C. O'Laughin
1997 Irish Genealogical Foundation