There's a book called "The Story of an Irish Sept: The O'Devlins of Tyrone," published back in the 1940s by Joseph C. Develin. It is meticulously researched and he concluded the Devlins originated in County Tyrone in Uulster in the 1100s. There is an area called Munterevlin on the shores of Lough Neagh, which has its own historical society that can be located on the web and there's also a published history of the area that they sell. There's an old standing cross at Arboe in that area that appears on the family crest (which is of recent origin.) The family is related to the O'Neills of Ulster and was part of the Clan Owen in clan days. This whole group in Ulster was about the last to submit to English rule, in the early 1600s. There are still tons of Devlins there and the famous 60s radical Bernadette Devlin described growing up there in her autobiography.
Of course over time people emigrated to different counties - Donegal has a group of Devlins in the Inishowen peninsula; Derry, etc. My own ancestors came from Donegal, but to find that out I had to find my g-g-grandfather's gravestone with an inscription on it that said that. There are some potential sources for finding out county origins but they're not always available. There were county societies in many cities, obituaries, etc. If your ancestor was a depositor in the Emigrant Savings Bank in New York City in the 1860s they were required to supply a piece of personal information for security and many people used their origins in Ireland for it. Good luck with your research. Bill Devlin
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