Wednesday, April 26, 2006

What does Cullen mean anyway?

Most people named Cullen are from Ireland, or have ancestors from Ireland, and I've read that the original name in Irish meant "holly tree", but others with the Irish name "whelp""small dog" have also been anglicized to Cullen.

And when I've been looking thru the records for my family from near Clogher, in County Tyrone, starting in 1860, my own ancestors seem to prefer to call themselves "Cullian", but they are also called Cullion, Cullen, Cullan, and even Cullinan.

Irish is hard@!


Anonymous said...

The Irish for holly is cuileann, pronounced 'quillan', and is the Irish for the surname Cullen.
The Irish for whelp or puppy dog is coileán, pronounced 'quillawn', and is the Irish for the surname Collins.
Submitted by:-
Brendan Cullen,

Bernie said...

Thank you Brendan,

That's helpful, especially the pronunciation. Do you know if Cullen , its Irish equivalent or any similar name was ever used as a given name? (like Conor name O'Connor surname)

Frank said...

In the town of Cullen,in Scotland, in the old church graveyard, there is a headstone erected for one of Robert Bruce's wives, which says she died in 1402, in Cullen.(it is all in latin, and cullen is spelled cvllen)The town obviously had that name in 1402.
One of my friends from France told me my name exists in Normandy, and in spelled Cullain. (The Norman Invasion of England?)
Frank Cullen

Bernie said...

There certainly is a Cullen town in Scotland, but not too many people named Cullen from Scotland. I am preparing a new post to this blog that will explain more. Where are your Cullens from, Frank?

Anonymous said...

My Cullen family came to Canada from Dalry, in Ayrshire, in the mid- 1800s
My gg grandfather's siblings apparently didn't marry, because there seem to be few Cullens in the area.
Frank Cullen

Bernie said...

Hello Frank,

Have you seen my posting of July 1 about Cullens in Scotland? It seems that most of the original Scottish Cullens were from Lanarkshire and so they are hard to distinguish given the industrialization and Irish emigration to the area.
I think I've found some old posts to message boards by you where there was some dispute about the origin of your early Cullen ancestors. I agree that they were likely Scottish for hundreds of years at least.

Please email me directly, berniecullen AT, I would like to learn more.


Anonymous said...

Hello Bernie.
In answer to your question of Feb 22, 2008 re Cullen as a given name, I've never come across it in Ireland, but have seen it on some American web sites.

Anonymous said...

hi my friend told me that theres a cardiff by the sea in san diego and he also said it was founded by a cullen

david cullen,
S Wales

Ms Kelly said...

Hi I have just recently wencomed a new addition into my family and whilst waiting for my new addition to arrive I was gripped by the twilight books, As im sure you are all aware the main characters surname is indeed Cullen so I googled it to find out it's meaning and I was delighted to see the most up to date meaning for the name is "handsome" and in greek "famous one".. So my very handsome little boys first name is Cullen, I just hope as a result of the twilight success the name doesn't become too popular lol...