Show ContentsPullen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Pullen is part of the ancient legacy of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. Pullen was a name used for a young buck; it is derived from the Old French word poulain, which meant colt. This nickname would have been given to a person given over to friskiness and possessed of a certain nervous energy in much the same way a young horse is. A broad and miscellaneous class of surnames, nickname surnames referred to a characteristic of the first person who used the name. They can describe the bearer's favored style of clothing, appearance, habits, or character. Often nicknames described strong traits or attributes that people wished to emulate in a specific animal. In the pre-Christian era, many pagan gods and demigods were believed to be a mixture of animals and humans, such as the Greek god Pan who was the god of flocks and herds and was represented as a man with the legs, horns and ears of a goat. In the Middle Ages, anthropomorphic ideas, which attributed human qualities and form to gods or animals, were held about the characters of other living creatures. They were based on the creature's habits. Moreover, these associations were reflected in folk-tales, mythology, and legends which portrayed animals behaving as humans.

Early Origins of the Pullen family

The surname Pullen was first found in Yorkshire but one of the earliest record of the name was Robert Pullen (died 1146), an English theologian and official of the Roman Catholic Church. He is generally thought to have been born in Poole, Devonshire and first educated in England. He was Archdeacon of Rochester in 1134. Shortly after this appointment, he went to Paris. There, he taught logic and theology tutoring John of Salisbury, who describes him as a man commended both by his life and his learning in 1141. Back in France, we found that John and Ivo Polain were listed in Normandy (1185-1190.) A few years later nine of the name were listed there in 1198 [1]

Early History of the Pullen family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pullen research. Another 60 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1598, 1667, 1690, 1598, 1667, 1517, 1565, 1631, 1714, 1654, 1657, 1648, 1713 and 1758 are included under the topic Early Pullen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pullen Spelling Variations

Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Pullen include Pulleine, Pullen, Pullan, Pulleyn, Pulling and many more.

Early Notables of the Pullen family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Samuel Pullen, Pullein, or Pulleyne (1598-1667), an English prelate, Archbishop of Tuam, son of William Pullein, rector of Ripley, Yorkshire; Benjamin Pulleyn (died 1690) the Cambridge tutor of Isaac Newton; Samuel Pullen (also Pullein and Pulleyne) (1598-1667), who was the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Tuam; and Henry-Percy Pulleine who purchased Crake Hall. John Pullain (Pullayne or Pulleyne) (1517-1565) was a Yorkshire divine and poet who was educated at New College, Oxford. Josiah Pullen (1631-1714) was Vice-Principal...
Another 84 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Pullen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pullen Ranking

In the United States, the name Pullen is the 2,617th most popular surname with an estimated 12,435 people with that name. [2]

United States Pullen migration to the United States +

Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Pullen were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

Pullen Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Pullen, who landed in Maryland in 1674 [3]
  • Mary Pullen, who arrived in Maryland in 1681 [3]
  • Anne Pullen, who arrived in Maryland in 1681 [3]
  • Richard Pullen, who landed in Maryland in 1681 [3]
Pullen Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Pres Pullen, who landed in America in 1766 [3]
  • Preston Pullen, who settled in Boston in 1766
Pullen Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Augustus Pullen, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [3]
  • Eugene H Pullen, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [3]
  • John, Joseph, Robert, and Thomas Pullen all, who arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1870

Canada Pullen migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Pullen Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • R Pullen, who arrived in Montreal in 1832
  • Alfred W N Pullen, who landed in Esquimalt, British Columbia in 1862

Australia Pullen migration to Australia +

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

Pullen Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Abraham Pullen who was convicted in Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Bussorah Merchant" on 24th March 1828, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [4]
  • William John Pullen, who arrived in Kangaroo Island aboard the ship "Rapid" in 1836 [5]
  • Jacob Pullen, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Bolton" in 1848 [6]
  • Daniel Pullen, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Bussorah Merchant" in 1848 [7]

New Zealand Pullen 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:

Pullen Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. H. Pullen, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Wild Duck" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 20th December 1867 [8]

West Indies Pullen migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [9]
Pullen Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • William Pullen, who settled in Barbados in 1663

Contemporary Notables of the name Pullen (post 1700) +

  • Jacob Everse Pullen (b. 1989), American basketball player
  • William Pullen (1917-2008), American actor
  • Melanie Pullen (b. 1975), American photographer
  • Don Pullen (1941-1995), American jazz musician
  • Hazel V. Pullen, American politician, Prohibition Candidate for Presidential Elector for Michigan, 1984 [10]
  • Frederick A. Pullen, American politician, Member of California State Assembly 13th District, 1875-77 [10]
  • Fred Pullen, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Illinois, 1916 [10]
  • D. J. Pullen, American politician, Supervisor of Romulus Township, Michigan, 1835 [10]
  • Betsy Pullen, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for Presidential Elector for Michigan, 1972 [10]
  • Alva Pullen, American Republican politician, Candidate for Missouri State House of Representatives from Cass County, 1940 [10]
  • ... (Another 14 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Pullen 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: Nulla pallescere culpa
Motto Translation: To turn pale from no crime.

Suggested Readings for the name Pullen +

  • Minnie, Mallory, Boyett, and Mallory, Hagan, Pullen, Radford, Goggans, Peterson, and Richardson Kin by Woodrow W. Boyett.

  1. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  3. 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)
  4. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 5th November 2020). Retrieved from
  5. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) RAPID 1836. Retrieved from
  6. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) BOLTON 1848. Retrieved from
  7. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) BUSSORAH MERCHANT 1848. Retrieved from
  8. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from
  10. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 8) . Retrieved from on Facebook