Quilligan 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 Quilligan is "O Cuileagain."

Early Origins of the Quilligan family

The surname Quilligan 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 Quilligan family

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

Quilligan Spelling Variations

Numerous spelling variations of the surname Quilligan 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 Quilligan family (pre 1700)

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


United States Quilligan 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 Quilligan were found through extensive research of immigration and passenger lists:

Quilligan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Patrick Quilligan, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1876 [1]

Canada Quilligan migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Quilligan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Martin Quilligan, aged 10 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Triton" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle in August 1847 [2]

Australia Quilligan migration to Australia +

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

Quilligan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • James Quilligan, aged 23, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Joseph Rowan" [3]


The Quilligan 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. 52)
  3. ^ South Australian Register Saturday 17th June 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Joseph Rowan 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/josephrowan1854.shtml


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