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Family spelling variants includes Sulivan

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SULLIVAN Family History

Ó Súleabháin- anglicised as Sullivan, and meaning either ?one-eyed? or ?hawk-eyed?, according to MacLysaght ('Irish Families' 1980) . Woulfe, however, in ?Sloinnte Gaedheal is Gall? (1923) says it is ?súil-dubhán' and means 'black-eyed'.

Ó Súleachán- originally anglicised as Sullehan and Sullahan, is mentioned by both Woulfe and MacLysaght as being absorbed by Sullivan.

(O) Sullivan is heavily concentrated in Munster, their original homeland being in south Co Tipperary, just above the town of Cahir on the river Suir. In the period following the Norman incursions they spread into Cos Cork, Kerry and Limerick, where their numbers remain. Descended from the legendary Eoghan Mor, they were of the leading families of the Eoghanacht. It was in the extreme south west of Munster that they developed into the powerful dynasties of O' Sullivan Mor and O' Sullivan Beare. They appear in the Irish Annals from this period onwards. The north shore of Kenmare Bay, Bantry and the Beare Peninsular belonged to these powerful clans. From these territories they fought with the Elizabethan Conquistadores like Grey and Raleigh with bitter determination.

O' Sullahan, which was also anglicised Sullivan, was a name of Cos Longford, Cavan and Louth.

In Sir William Petty's '1659 Census' of Ireland the following appear in the list of Principal Irish Names:

In Co. Cork: city, O' Sulleuane (19 families); Kinnalea Barony, Sullivane (22); Kierycurrihy Bar. Sullevane (10); Kinalmeaky Bar, Sullivane (25); Ibawne and Barrymore, Sullevane (11); Coursies Bar. Suliuane (11); West Carbery, Sullivane (37) Beere and Bantry, Sullivane (9). Barrets Barony, O Sulevane (26); Barrymore O Sullivane (19); Kilmore and Orrery, O' Sulevane (27).

In Co Kerry, Trughanach Barony, O' Sulevane has 24 families: Iraghticonnor has Sulleuan (9); Maquinihy, Sullivane (8); Glauneroghty Barony, Sulliuan (26).

I found no trace of them in Petty's returns for Co Tipperary. Nor have I found any name resembling Sullivan or Sullahan in Petty for Cos Longford and Louth. There are no returns for Cavan in Petty.

By the time of Griffith's 'Primary Valuation' (1848-1860) of households, most Sullivan households are in counties: Cork (3630) Kerry (2567) Limerick (486) Tipperary (272) and Waterford (199)

(O) Sullivan has been the most common surname in Munster for some time, and is third most numerous in all Ireland.

Two famous (O) Sullivans (among so many!):
Donal O' Sullivan Beare (1560-1618) a great military leader, who is remembered for his amazing march to Ulster after the defeat at Kinsale.
Colonel John William Sullivan (b 1700) was Bonny Prince Charlie's adviser and supporter in the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion.

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Lorraine Brown

Daniel sullivan Co Kerry Dingle. Married Mary MC Clements of Holywood Co down Children John, Robert, Dennis and Marcus Eliza and Martha. Daniel was a boat builder by trade and was called up and fought at The Battle of Trafalgar. His famous son was Dr Robert Sullivan who was a publisher of children's dictionary and geography book. He lived in Marlborough St Dublin. Dr Robert founded Sullivan Upper School.


My great x 4 paternal grandmother was Honora Sullivan born in County Kerry abt 1820. She married Francis Morrissey. Their daughter, Ellen, my great x 3 grandmother was born in County Kerry in 1841, she married James Thomas Keane and they immigrated to New Zealand, settling in Temuka. I would love more information about my Sullivan ancestors and to make family connections. Please contact Debi -


MY Great Grandfather was Daniel Sullivan. He came to Victoria Australia c1860. Records say he was born 1840 in County Cork (no details). He was RC and married a Protestant so had two weddings on the same day at Port Fairy, Victoria I believe this was fairly common to keep both families reasonably happy. . Both Certificates say his father was John Sullivan. The RC one says his mother was Mary Kennedy - the C of E one says his mother was Julia Manning. Makes it virtually impossible to find which Daniel Sullivan he was and from which part of County Cork he was from. I have a list of Daniel Sullivans born in County Cork and marriages of a John with Mary Kennedy and Julia Manning but can't pin him down. Any suggestions.

Christine Sullivan Gallo

My great great grandfather was Roger Sullivan of County Kerry; left in May 1848 on the Swan out of Cork with wife Catherine Moynihan. Died in Warren County, NY, early 20th century. Had several (11?) children, among them John R. (my great grandfather), Patrick and Joanna (died young, buried in St Mary's Cemetery in South Glens Falls, NY, with Roger and Catherine). I have not been able to find much else. John R's wife, my great grandmother Anna Stack Sullivan, also had parents who emigrated, I presume during the Famine, but I can't find anything about her parents other than census records stating they were born in Ireland.


Oldest Family member was Cornelius Sullivan born in Ireland about 1794. died in Fall River, MA. in 1856. Married a Bridget Eagan. Died in 1855.. Cornelius was Thought to have immigrated to USA betwen 1850-1855. May of had 8 children.


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