Quinlivan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Irish surnames are all based on the Gaelic language native to Ireland. The original Gaelic form of the name Quinlivan is O Caoinleain or O Caoindealbhain.

Early Origins of the Quinlivan family

The surname Quinlivan was first found in County Meath (Irish: An Mhí) anciently part of the kingdom of Brega, located in Eastern Ireland, in the province of Leinster, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.

Early History of the Quinlivan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Quinlivan research. Another 91 words (6 lines of text) covering the year 1172 is included under the topic Early Quinlivan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Quinlivan Spelling Variations

Many spelling variations of the surname Quinlivan can be found in the archives. One reason for these variations 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. The different spellings that were found include Quinlan, O'Quinlan, O'Quinlevan, O'Quinlivan and many more.

Early Notables of the Quinlivan family (pre 1700)

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


United States Quinlivan migration to the United States +

In the 19th century, thousands of Irish left their English-occupied homeland for North America. Like most new world settlers, the Irish initially settled on the eastern shores of the continent but began to move westward with the promise of owning land. The height of this Irish migration came during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. With apparently nothing to lose, Irish people left on ships bound for North America and Australia. Unfortunately a great many of these passengers lost their lives - the only thing many had left - to disease, starvation, and accidents during the long and dangerous journey. Those who did safely arrive in "the land of opportunities" were often used for the hard labor of building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. The Irish were critical to the quick development of the infrastructure of the United States and Canada. Passenger and immigration lists indicate that members of the Quinlivan family came to North America quite early:

Quinlivan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Denis, John, Patrick Quinlivan all, who arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860

Canada Quinlivan migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Quinlivan Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mary and Michael Quinlivan, who settled in Canada in 1839

Australia Quinlivan migration to Australia +

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

Quinlivan Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Daniel Quinlivan, aged 22, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Isle of Thanet" [1]
  • Ann Quinlivan, aged 20, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Isle of Thanet" [1]
  • Anne Quinlivan, aged 20, a farm servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Grand Trianon"

New Zealand Quinlivan 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:

Quinlivan Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Michael Quinlivan, aged 25, a farm labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "La Hogue" in 1874
  • Bridget Quinlivan, aged 22, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "La Hogue" in 1874
  • Mary Quinlivan, aged 7 months, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "La Hogue" in 1874
  • Thomas Quinlivan, aged 21, a labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Strathnaver" in 1874
  • Catherine Quinlivan, aged 60, a housekeeper, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Strathnaver" in 1874
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Quinlivan (post 1700) +

  • Charles Quinlivan (1924-1974), American film and television actor
  • Maurice Quinlivan (b. 1967), Irish Sinn Féin politician and a member of Limerick City Council
  • Nessan Quinlivan (b. 1965), Irish former Provisional IRA member
  • Luke Quinlivan (b. 1985), Australian water polo player


  1. ^ South Australian Register Wednesday 25th October 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Isle of Thanet 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/isleofthanet1854.shtml.


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