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CULLEN Family History

Cullen is a multiple origin name, as many Irish surnames are (see list on Conway Page).

Ó Cuilinn, derivation as above, numerous in South East Leinster.
Ó Cuileamhain, root uncertain, anglicised formerly as Culhoon, Culoon and even Colquhoun (a Scottish name). The same territory as Ó Cuilinn in S.E. Leinster.
Mac Cuilinn, root 'cuileann'- holly, a largely Co Monaghan name.
Ó Cuileannáin, with possible root 'holly', a branch of the Corca Laoidhe in Co Cork. The Donegal Cullinanes are mostly Cullen.
Mac Coileáin, from root 'coileán'- 'whelp', an Ulster surname.
Mac Uighilín, Quillan etc., the Gaelic name adopted by the Cambro-Norman de Mandeville family, found as Cullen in Cavan.

In fact the Registrar General, R. Matheson, lists 12 variants or synonyms of Cullen across Ireland, including the ubiquitous Collins (usually Ó Coileáin) from the 1890 births registrations.

Griffith's 'Valuation' (1847-1863) finds most Cullen household in counties Wexford (290), Wicklow (209), Dublin- including city (148), Leitrim (123) and Kilkenny (90).

The 1890 birth registration figures in Matheson's 'Special Report on Irish Surnames' (1909) found Leinster with the most Cullen births by far (132), and principally in Dublin and Wexford.

The English surname Cullen is taken from the Old French Cologne, from the German city, which itself is from Latin 'colonia' or 'colony'. The English surname Cooling has also been rendered as Cullen. Guppy (1890) lists the name Cullen as a Nottinghamshire and Somerset surname.

The Scottish surname Cullen is taken from a place in Bannfshire of that name, from Gaelic root 'cuilan'- 'little corner/nook'. Prefixed by 'de' - 'of', the surname was well established in North East Scotland from the 14th century. Many of the Glasgow Cullens, however, would have an Irish immigrant origin: and thus the demographics are similar to those of the surname Kelly, which is also of dual origin in Scotland.

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Ferguson McLean Cullen

Anthony Barrett

(Part 1 of 3) The Cullen name has a long history in Ireland, but now DNA and some recorded history says its origin is from the south-west region of the Emerald Island. The Cullen story [dominated by DNA tribal marker R1b-L513, Subgroup O2] can trace their beginnings to what is now County Kerry from 50 BCE. Perhaps the journey begins with the Clanna Dedad; Deda, son of Sen or Deda Mac Sin. The Cullen surname origin is possibly a branch of what will become the Dáirine [R1b-L513] who are found in south Ireland around 300 CE.

Anthony Barrett

(Part 2 of 3) According to research, the Dáirine will join with the Dál Riata of north-east Ireland and invade Scotland around 500 CE. But how could this be? Recent discoveries from DNA testing are unlocking the migration patterns of Celtic tribes as late as 800 CE to 1200 CE. The Cullen story begins in pre-history Ireland but many of his descendants will then move to Kintyre, Scotland where they and other R1b-L513 members will form the Dalriada. This line and many of his kin will then travel to Brittany, France during the Dark Ages.

Anthony Barrett

(Part 3 of 3) Discover their newly found untold story and how forgotten texts bring their story back to life. From the ebook, “The Tribe Within” learn how DNA unfolds this amazing tale and if you look in the right places, how history narrates this evidence. There is another written account of their story, but it is camouflaged in smoke and myth – it will become the tales of King Arthur. Come follow in the footsteps of Deda Mac Sin and visit


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