Holly History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
While many Irish names are familiar, their past incarnations are often shrouded in mystery, reflecting the ancient Gaelic heritage of their bearers. The original Gaelic form of the name Holly is "Mac Cuilinn" or "O Cuilinn," which are from the word "cuileann," which means "holly." They descend from Heber, who with his brother Heremon ruled Ireland. 
Culen or Colin, son of Indulph, was King of Scotland or Alba (967-71?) "His father, Indulph, was the first king who occupied Edinburgh, up to that time within Anglian Northumbria. " 
Early Origins of the Holly family
The surname Holly was first found in the southeast of Ireland, in the counties of Dublin, Wicklow, and Wexford. Although all but one of the many distinct septs have become extinct, this remaining sept currently provides Ireland with nearly 8000 members, enough to make Cullen the 84th most common name in Ireland.
Descended from Olioll Flann Beag, king of Munster, the Cullens made their original homeland at Glencullen, in Wicklow, and they have remained there to the present day, despite the threat of their more powerful neighbors, the O'Tooles and the O'Byrnes. They were an influential family, as indicated by the inclusion of Cullen of Cullenstown among the leading gentry of Wexford in the Clongowes manuscript of 1598.
Due to the prominence of this sept, a number of similarly-named minor septs also adopted the name Cullen, including O Cuileamhain of south Leinster, which is also rendered Culloon or Culhoun, and Mac Cuilin of Leitrim, which is also Anglicized MacCullen.
Early History of the Holly family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Holly research. Another 70 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1659, 1300, 1534, 1517, 1542, 1516, 1528, 1531, 1534, 1803, 1878 and 1803 are included under the topic Early Holly History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Holly Spelling Variations
Official documents, crafted by early scribes and church officials, primarily contained names that were spelled according to their pronunciation. This lead to the problem of one name being recorded under several different variations, creating an illusion that a single person was many people. Among the many spelling variations of the surname Holly that are preserved in the archival documents of the time are Cullen, Cullan, Cullane, O'Cullen, Cullain, Cullin, Cullon, McCullen, MacCullen, O'Cullane, Culen, Culan, Culain, Cullaine, Culaine, MacCulen, MacCollin, MacColin, O'Colen, O'Collen, O'Cuilin, O'Cuillin, O'Culane, O'Culen, O'Culhoon, O'Culloon, MacCullen, Cullain, Culon, Cullon, Culling and many more.
Early Notables of the Holly family (pre 1700)
Notable among the family name at this time was Patrick O'Cullen, (d. 1534), Bishop of Clogher (1517-1542.) He "was an Augustinian hermit and prior of St. John without Newgate in Dublin. He was appointed to the see of Clogher by Leo X on 11 Feb. 1516. In 1528 the Pope granted him a dispensation from residence on account of the poverty of his see, which had been so wasted in the wars that it was not...
Another 76 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Holly Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
In the United States, the name Holly is the 3,709th most popular surname with an estimated 7,461 people with that name. 
| Holly migration to the United States ||+|
In the 18th and 19th centuries hundreds of thousands of Irish people immigrated to North American shores. The early settlers were enticed by the promise of their own land, but they were moderately well off in Ireland when they decided to emigrate. Therefore, they were merely carrying out a long and carefully thought out decision. The 1840s saw the emergence of a very different trend: thousands of extremely desperate people crammed into passenger boats hoping to find any type of opportunity. The Irish of this decade had seen their homeland severely stricken by crop failures which resulted in widespread disease and starvation. At whatever time the Irish immigrants came to North America, they were instrumental in the rapid development of the emerging nations of the United States and what would become known as Canada. An exhaustive search of passenger and immigration lists has revealed many persons bearing the name Holly, or one of its variants:
Holly Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Elizabeth Holly, aged 30, who landed in Massachusetts Bay in 1635 aboard the ship "Blessing"
- John Holly, who landed in Virginia in 1650 
- Lyonell Holly, who landed in Virginia in 1652 
- Bernard Holly, who landed in Maryland in 1658 
- Tyonll Holly in Virginia in 1665
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Holly Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- William DeForest Holly, who arrived in Mobile County, Ala in 1836 
- Georg David Ludw Holly, who landed in America in 1852 
- Joh Holly, who arrived in America in 1857 
- Jeremiah J Holly, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1858 
| Holly migration to Canada ||+|
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
Holly Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
- Mr. Ebenezer Holly U.E. born in Connecticut, USA who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 listed as signing the Quaker Loyalist Agreement he was also a High Contestable for the City of Saint John 
- Mrs. Jane Holly U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 listed as signing the Quaker Loyalist Agreement 
- Mrs. Mary Holly U.E. born in Connecticut, USA who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 listed as signing the Quaker Loyalist Agreement 
Holly Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
- Mary Holly, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1831
- Miss. Margaret Holly who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Ellen Simpson" departing from the port of Limerick, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle In 1847 
- Mrs. Catherine Holly, aged 30 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Scotland" departing 13th April 1847 from Cork, Ireland; the ship arrived on 8th June 1847 but she died on board 
- Miss. Catherine Holly, aged 2 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Scotland" departing 13th April 1847 from Cork, Ireland; the ship arrived on 8th June 1847 but she died on board 
- Mr. James Holly, aged 2 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Scotland" departing 13th April 1847 from Cork, Ireland; the ship arrived on 8th June 1847 but he died on board 
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
| Holly migration to Australia ||+|
Emigration to Australia
followed the First Fleets
of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:
Holly Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- William Holly and his wife Keturah arrived in Port Adelaide aboard the ship "Apolline" in 1840 
- William Holly, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Apolline" in 1840 
- Keturah Holly, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Apolline" in 1840 
- Daniel Holly, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Fairfield" in 1840 
- Ellen Holly, aged 21, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Marion" 
|Contemporary Notables of the name Holly (post 1700) ||+|
- William Harrison Holly (1869-1958), American jurist, United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (1943-1958)
- Buddy Holly (1936-1959), stage name of Charles Hardin Holley, American singer-songwriter and a pioneer of Rock and Roll, killed in a plane crash with Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper, famously referred to as "The Day the Music Died" in Don McLean's 1971 song "American Pie"
- Doyle Holly (1936-2007), stage name of Doyle Floyd Hendricks, American musician, best known as the bass guitar player of Buck Owens and the Buckaroos
- Lauren Michael Holly (b. 1963), American actress, best known for her role as Deputy Sheriff Maxine Stewart in the TV series Picket Fences
- Jeffrey Owen Holly (b. 1953), American retired Major League Baseball pitcher for the Minnesota Twins
- Brigadier-General Joseph Andrew Holly (1896-1987), American Deputy Chief of Staff Assembly Area Command, US European Theater of Operations (1945-1946) 
- Melissa Holly Suffield (b. 1992), English actress from London, best known for her role as Lucy Beale in the BBC soap opera EastEnders
- Imogen Holly Aird (b. 1969), English television actress, best known for her role on the BBC1 drama series Waking the Dead
- Arthur Holly Compton (1892-1962), American physicist awarded the 1927 Nobel Prize in Physics
- William Holly Johnson (b. 1960), English artist, writer and musician
- O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
- Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?". NameCensus.com, https://namecensus.com/last-names/
- 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)
- Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
- 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. 34)
- 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. 80)
- State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) APOLLINE 1840. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1840Apolline.gif
- State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) FAIRFIELD 1840. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1840Fairfield.htm
- State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) MARION 1851 - HER HISTORY. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1851Marion.htm
- Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2012, March 30) Joseph Holly. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Holly/Joseph_Andrew/USA.html