Recorded in several spellings as shown below, this is a famous Irish surname. It is a development of either of two original Gaelic surnames. The first was 'Mac con Ulaidh' composed of the elements 'Mac' meaning son of, 'con', a hunting dog, and 'uladh', the province of Ulster. As to why anybody should be called 'The son of the hound of Ulster' is unclear, but the hound was highly regarded in early heraldry, and particularly so in Ireland. As such it probably described a fast moving and brave soldier.
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