Ireland was O Suileabhain, which is partially derived from the word "suil," which means "eye." The surname probably means either one-eyed or hawk-eyed.
Early Origins of the Sulivan family
Tipperary (Irish: Thiobraid Árann), established in the 13th century in South-central Ireland, in the province of Munster. The Sullivan spelling is by far the most common name in Munster, and is predominantly found in the counties of Cork and Kerry, with a smaller but still significant population in County Limerick.
Early History of the Sulivan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sulivan research.
Another 301 words (22 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1590, 1660, 1700, 1745, 1748, 1784, and 1837 are included under the topic Early Sulivan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Sulivan Spelling Variations
The scribes who created documents long before either the Gaelic or English language resembled their standardized versions of today recorded words as they sounded. Consequently, in the Middle Ages the names of many people were recorded under different spellings each time they were written down. Research on the Sulivan family name revealed numerous spelling variations, including O'Sullivan, Sullivan and others.
Early Notables of the Sulivan family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family name at this time was Phillip O'Sullivan Beare (1590-1660), soldier in the Spanish army who is best remembered as a historian; Colonel John O'Sullivan (b...
Another 29 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sulivan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Sulivan family to the New World and Oceana
Under the rule of England, land ownership in Ireland changed dramatically, and many native Irish families found themselves renting out land to farm from absentee owners. This was one of the prime reasons that immigration to North America began in the late 18th century: Irish farmers dreamed of owning their own parcel of land to work for themselves. At this point, the immigrants were at least of modest means for the passage across the Atlantic was often quite dear. In the 1840s the Great Potato Famine created an exodus of people of quite different means. These people were most often destitute: they either sold anything they had to gain a passage or they were sponsored by philanthropic societies. Many of these immigrants were sick from disease and starvation: as a result many did not survive the long transatlantic journey. Although those settlers that did survive were often despised and discriminated against by people already established in these nations, they were critical to rapid development of the powerful industrial nations of the United States and the country that would later become known as Canada. An examination of immigration and passenger lists shows many persons bearing the name of Sulivan or one of its variants:
Sulivan Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Sulivan Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Sulivan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Sulivan Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
Contemporary Notables of the name Sulivan (post 1700)
The Sulivan 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: Lamh foistenach abú
Motto Translation: The steady hand to victory.
Sulivan Family Crest Products