Culligan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

While the Anglicized versions of Irish names are familiar to most people, all Irish names have a long and proud Gaelic heritage that is often unknown. The original Gaelic form of the name Culligan is "O Cuileagain."

Early Origins of the Culligan family

The surname Culligan was first found in County Londonderry (Irish: Doire), a Northern Irish county also known as Derry, in the province of Ulster, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

Early History of the Culligan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Culligan research. Another 112 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Culligan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Culligan Spelling Variations

Numerous spelling variations of the surname Culligan exist. A partial explanation for these variants is that ancient scribes and church officials recorded names as they were pronounced, often resulting in a single person being recorded under several different spellings. Different spellings that were found include Culligan, Colligan, Quilligan, O'Quilligan, O'Culligan, O'Colligan, Coligan, Culigan, Colgan and many more.

Early Notables of the Culligan family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Culligan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Culligan migration to the United States +

Many destitute Irish families in the 18th and 19th centuries decided to leave their homeland, which had in many ways been scarred by English colonial rule. One of the most frequent destinations for these families was North America where it was possible for an Irish family to own their own parcel of land. Many of the early settlers did find land awaiting them in British North America, or even later in America, but for the majority of immigrants that arrived as a result of the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s the ownership of land was often a long way off. These Irish people were initially put to work on such industrial projects as the building of bridges, canals, and railroads, or they worked at manufacturing positions within factories. Whenever they arrived, the Irish made enormous contributions to the infant nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the earliest immigrants to bearer the name of Culligan were found through extensive research of immigration and passenger lists:

Culligan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Pat Culligan, aged 60, who arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in 1803 [1]
  • Michael Culligan, who arrived in New York in 1843 [1]
  • Charles Culligan, who arrived in New York in 1847 [1]
  • John Culligan, who landed in New York in 1847 [1]
  • Bridget Culligan, aged 14, who landed in New York, NY in 1850 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Culligan migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Culligan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • John, Pat and Simon Culligan, who, who arrived in Quebec in 1839
  • Ms. Ann Culligan, aged 20 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Naomi" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle in August 1847 [2]
  • Mr. Barney Culligan, aged 24 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Ajax" departing 16th April 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 23rd June 1847 but he died on board [3]
  • Mr. Francis Culligan who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Goliah" departing 21st May 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 18th July 1847 but he died on board [3]

Australia Culligan migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Culligan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Patrick Culligan, aged 36, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Catherine" [4]
  • Patrick Culligan, aged 36, a labourer, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Catherine" in 1851 [4]
  • Bridget Culligan, aged 30, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Catherine" in 1851 [4]

New Zealand Culligan migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Culligan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Culligan, Australian settler travelling from Newcastle, Australia aboard the ship "Bobycito" arriving in Port Chalmers, Otago, New Zealand on 10th December 1874 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Culligan (post 1700) +

  • Patrick Culligan, American Democrat politician, Postmaster at Alpena, Michigan, 1886-89 [6]
  • Ernest M. Culligan, American Republican politician, Candidate for New York State Senate 13th District, 1934 [6]
  • John W. Culligan (1916-2004), American business executive, president and CEO of Whitehall Laboratories
  • Emmett Culligan, American founder of the Culligan water purification company in 1936
  • Andy Culligan, Canadian retired professional NHL ice hockey player for the Chicago Blackhawks in 1965
  • Tom Culligan (b. 1945), Canadian entrepreneur, co-founder of The Second Cup
  • Arthur Culligan (1879-1929), Canadian farmer, lumberman and politician in New Brunswick


The Culligan Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Virtus probata florescit
Motto Translation: Tried virtue flourishes.


  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 22)
  3. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 71)
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) CATHERINE 1851. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1851Catherine.htm
  5. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 26) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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