Curtin History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Irish surnames have been much altered from their original forms. Before being translated into English, Curtin appeared as "Mac Cuirtin," derived from the personal name "Cruitin," which means "hunchbacked." As this name is descriptive in origin, it is considered to be a nickname surname. Like the majority of early Irish hereditary surnames, nickname surnames were formed by adding either the prefix "Mc," meaning "son of," or "O," meaning "grandson of," to the root of the name.

Early Origins of the Curtin family

The surname Curtin was first found in County Clare (Irish: An Clár) located on the west coast of Ireland in the province of Munster, where they were an ancient Thomond sept whose family seat was at Ennistymon. They held a family seat as Chiefs of the Clann Cruitin. Their territories were in the barony of Corcomroe, County Clare, where they and the MacBrodys were hereditary ollaves (master-poets) and as such sat next to the king at the table and was privileged, as none else but the queen was, to wear six different colors in his clothes.

Early History of the Curtin family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Curtin research. Another 117 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1680, 1755, 1793 and 1405 are included under the topic Early Curtin History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Curtin Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: McCurtin, McCurtain, Curtin, Curtain, Cruitin, McCruitin, O'Curtin, O'Curtain, McCruttin, O'Cruttin, Cyrtayne, Curtayne, McCurtaine, O'Curtaine, O'Cruitin, O'Cuarthain, Cruitin, MacCurtin and many more.

Early Notables of the Curtin family (pre 1700)

Another 37 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Curtin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Curtin migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Curtin Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • James Curtin, who arrived in Antigua (Antego) in 1798 [1]
Curtin Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Patrick Curtin, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1846 [1]
  • T G Curtin, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1860 [1]
  • Michael Curtin, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1860 [1]
  • David Curtin, who arrived in Arkansas in 1874 [1]
  • Thomas Curtin, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1879 [1]

Canada Curtin migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Curtin Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Curtin, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1831
  • Denis Curtin, aged 24, a tanner, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Charity" from Kinsale, Ireland
  • Tim. Curtin, aged 22, a tanner, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Charity" from Kinsale, Ireland
  • Mr. David Curtin, aged 30 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Avon" departing from the port of Cork, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle in September 1847 [2]
  • Mr. Edward Curtin who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Saguenay" departing from the port of Cork, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle in 1847 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Curtin migration to Australia +

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

Curtin Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Curtin, aged 43, a herdsman, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Trafalgar" [3]

New Zealand Curtin 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:

Curtin Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Bridget Curtin, (b. 1844), aged 24, British dairymaid travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 8th January1869 [4]
  • Mr. James Curtin, (b. 1846), aged 22, British shepherd travelling from London aboard the ship 'Mermaid' arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 8th January1869 [4]
  • Miss Honora Curtin, (b. 1854), aged 20, Irish servant from Galway travelling from London aboard the ship "Tweed" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 4th September 1874 [5]
  • Peter Curtin, aged 24, a farm labourer, who arrived in Invercargill aboard the ship "Rimutaka" in 1885

Contemporary Notables of the name Curtin (post 1700) +

  • Jane Therese Curtin (b. 1947), American two-time Emmy Award winning television actress and comedian, original cast member on Saturday Night Live
  • John Thomas Curtin (1921-2017), American jurist, Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of New York (1989-2017), Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of New York (1974-1989)
  • Phyllis Curtin (1921-2016), American classical soprano, Dean Emerita, College of Fine Arts at Boston University in 1991
  • Andrew Gregg Curtin (1815-1894), son of a Clare emigrant, who became the Governor of Pennsylvania, and was later appointed the U.S. Minister to Russia by President Ulysses S. Grant
  • Jeremiah Curtin (1835-1906), well-known American linguist
  • J. Frederick Curtin, American Democrat politician, Member of Massachusetts State House of Representatives Second Suffolk District, 1923-24 [6]
  • J. Curtin, American politician, U.S. Vice Consul in SAINT Petersburg, 1874 [6]
  • Harry Bolinger Curtin (1866-1929), American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from West Virginia, 1916, 1920 [6]
  • George Washington Curtin (b. 1843), American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from West Virginia, 1900, 1908 [6]
  • Frank A. Curtin, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from California, 1924 [6]
  • ... (Another 21 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Royal Oak
  • Cornelius Curtin (b. 1939), British Stoker 1st Class with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [7]


  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. 23)
  3. ^ South Australian Register Thursday 29th June 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Trafalgar 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/trafalgar1854.shtml.
  4. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  5. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 22) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  7. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html


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