Show ContentsCullis History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The age-old Pictish-Scottish family name Cullis is derived from son of Collie which is a diminutive of Nicholas.

Early Origins of the Cullis family

The surname Cullis was first found in Aberdeenshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Obar Dheathain), a historic county, and present day Council Area of Aberdeen, located in the Grampian region of northeastern Scotland, where they held a family seat from very early times.

Early History of the Cullis family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cullis research. Another 165 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1449, 1531, 1584, 1596, and 1674 are included under the topic Early Cullis History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cullis Spelling Variations

In medieval Scotland, names were more often spelled according to sound than any regular set of rules. An enormous number of spelling variations were the result. Over the years, the name Cullis has been spelled Collison, Collisone, Colesoun, Colison, Colisone, Caullison, Cawlison, Cawllison, Colleson, Coleson, Collisoun, Collisson and many more.

Early Notables of the Cullis family (pre 1700)

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

United States Cullis migration to the United States +

In such difficult times, Ireland, Australia, and North America looked like better homes for many Scots. The trips were expensive and grueling, but also rewarding, as the colonies were havens for those unwelcome in the old country. That legacy did not die easily, though, and many were forced to fight for their freedom in the American War of Independence. The Scottish legacy has resurface in more recent times, though, through Clan societies, highland games, and other organizations. Immigration and passenger lists have shown many early immigrants bearing the old Scottish name of Cullis:

Cullis Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John M. Cullis, (b. 1861), aged 25, U.S. citizen departing from Liverpool aboard the ship "Umbria" arriving in Boston, USA on 5 April 1886 [1]
  • Mrs. Lavinia Cullis, (b. 1867), aged 26, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "Servia" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 6th March 1893 en route to Illinois, USA [2]
Cullis Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mr. Charles Cullis, (b. 1879), aged 26, Cornish stone cutter travelling aboard the ship "St Paul" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 25th June 1905 en route to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, USA [2]

Australia Cullis migration to Australia +

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

Cullis Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Cullis, (b. 1811), aged 32, English convict who was convicted in Devizes, Wiltshire, England for 7 years for bad notes, transported aboard the "Cressy" on 28th April 1843, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Cullis (post 1700) +

  • G. Harry Cullis, American Republican politician, Mayor of Summit, New Jersey; Elected 1943 [4]
  • Cass Cullis, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Ohio, 1948 [4]
  • A. E. Cullis, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for Mayor of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, 1913, 1917 [4]
  • Anthony George Cullis FRS (1946-2021), British electronic engineer, and professor at University of Sheffield
  • Rita Cullis, English soprano from Ellesmere Port
  • Stanley Cullis (1916-2001), English professional footballer and manager from Ellesmere Port

The Cullis 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: Hoc virtutis opus
Motto Translation: This is the work of virtue.

  1. Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to New York 1820 - 1891 [PDF]. Retrieved from
  2. Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from
  3. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 21st May 2021). Retrieved from
  4. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 26) . Retrieved from on Facebook