The Path Towards a New Shield

Clan Symbols:
Chronology of Research and Advice (2005 – 2014)


Following the international reunion of Muintίr Uí Lochlainn, Robert O Loughlin, (Queensland, Australia) began research into all the various Ó Lochlainn banners, symbols, and coats of arms, beginning with the 12th c. Book of Leinster which predates the arrival of the Normans to Ireland in 1169 AD. The Book of Leinster  describes the Clan colours or banner which were displayed at the Battle of Terryglass (Tipperary) in 1159 AD.


Robert compiled and presented all the information accumulated through a number of centuries for the international group – Muintír Uí Lochlainn.


His research was distributed through our newsletter service. One of the resulting benefits was a meeting at the National Library of Ireland with Fergus Gillespie, then Chief Herald, where he asserted that the 1838 coat of arms were particular to Sir Michael O Loghlen and his descendants, and were thus legally not available to the wider Clan. This limitation was outlined in the 1838 Grant of Arms which was recorded by Sir William Betham, the then Ulster King of Arms (Chief Herald).


Katharine Lochnan (Toronto, Canada), John O Loughlin (Maryland, U.S.A.) and Brendan O’Loghlin (Canberra, Australia) continued Robert’s fine research work. This international Clan group was requested to explore international symbols which, combined with Irish symbols, could represent the Ó Lochlainn diaspora, as well as Irish clan members.

Preliminary designs

Preliminary designs


Katharine Lochnan was requested to assemble preliminary designs incorporating local symbols (Anchor, Tau Cross, Corcomroe Abbey ship graffito). Those designs were later presented to Katy Lumsden (Irish Heraldic Office) during October 2009, and she advised us of design principles. She recommended that we keep the design simple and divide the shield into no more than three compartments. Katy was later shown the designs which Katharine Lochnan had assembled and presented.


During our October international reunion, Robert O Loughlin and Katharine Lochnan presented two proposals to those in attendance. Tom O Loughlin, Professor of historical theology and medievalist with knowledge of heraldry, suggested that we select motifs from Ó Lochlainn’s banner of 1159 AD, as described in the Book of Leinster and carried at the Battle of Terryglass. Tom proposed that we use the “oak tree erased” without the “chieftain defending” as the latter was incorporated within the 1838 coat of arms granted to Sir Michael O Loghlen, which was and remains particular to Sir Michael and his direct descendants only.

Following Tom O Loughlin’s drafting of a blazon for the proposed coat of arms, Katharine Lochnan produced a new design to represent Muintir Uí Lochlainn, both local and international, in consultation with Tom. This new design, together with some explanatory information was incorporated within a brochure and distributed, to mark the first anniversary of the 2010 reunion.

Design drawings


Katharine Lochnan discussed her work with Fiona Ross in Toronto during February 2011, and asked if there was a procedure whereby we could be granted official approval for the adoption of this coat of arms. Fiona acknowledged the need to discover a pathway to develop coats of arms for Irish clans and expressed a willingness to assist our group with trying to find a way to have our design vetted, approved and recognized.

Katharine later wrote to Fiona, requesting advice as to how to go about this and sent her a copy of the brochure. She received a response from Katy Lumsden on May 3 in which we were reminded of the formal protocol which the clan would have to go through to apply for a corporate coat of arms. As the cost was prohibitive for a voluntary association, the situation remains unresolved.


In preparation for the North American reunion of August 2014, the group decided it was best to record the stories of two groups:

  • The Lochnans of The Ottawa Valley (1834) and
  • The OLoghlins who arrived to Wisconsin, shortly after Wisconsin became a state of the Union in 1848.


Consequently, two clan publications appeared in August 2014:

  • A Stitch in Time
  • Windows To Our Past

Katharine Lochnan gave a presentation on the new symbols to our North
American clan-reunion which was held at Milwaukee, Wisconsin in conjunction with Irish Fest 2014 and there was general acceptance among the assembled group of 130 members. There were also queries why the contents of the clan brochure were not receiving acceptance within the Irish heraldic system in Dublin.

Edward OLoghlen

Muintír Uí Lochlainn
November 2014


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s