Monday, May 14, 2018

archived discussion (June 2009) from Worldfamilies DNA site

After three years of the Cullen DNA project, we have made some great discoveries. We have found that there are many independent Cullen families throughout Ireland, so DNA can be a powerful tool to help people who don't know what county their Cullen ancestors are from. Our most exciting finding has been identifying the main DNA signature of the best known Cullen family in Ireland and the world: the descendants of the O'Cullenfamily of County Wicklow, now numerous also in the Dublin area. They were early chiefs in Wicklow, and are genetically related to other ruling families of the area, like the Byrnes and Kavanaghs. It turns out that most other Cullen families in Ireland are not related to the WicklowCullens. See below for more on the Wicklow findings.
This is the first major revision of the Discussion page in more than a year (June 2009). Click here to skip down to a discussion of all of our members' family history and DNA results, in the same order that they appear in our Results table. In addition to the Wicklow discoveries, you can read about connections between Cullens in other parts of Ireland, and also England and Scotland, and Cullen descendants throughout the world.

Here are 3 common goals for DNA testing and genetic genealogy:
(1) Check genetics against a "paper trail" of birth, death, civil, church records etc. and confirm/refute a family tree going back to the 1600s or 1700s, and place new people into these established family lines.
(2) Determine the genetic pattern for different lineages (families) of Cullens in Ireland and beyond, and figure out which lineages are related to each other, on a time scale of hundreds of years.
(3) Trace the history and migration of your male line ancestors for hundreds or even thousands of years: when did your male ancestor likely come to Ireland (for example)? Was it with the Celts or earlier (before 100 AD), or with the Normans (post 1100) or later? Are you descended from a ruling/dominant/prolific family, or is your male line restricted to a small area?
Because most of us come from ordinary Irish people, and records in Ireland are scarce before 1864, we don't have a long paper trail or large family tree to fit people into. So goal (1) is not realistic for most of us. This may change--for example, if a new member matches member C-9, he will know he comes from an English family, with records for this Cullen family going back into the 1500s. We also hope to get DNA samples from landowning Irish Cullen families and early Cullen immigrants to the US, both which will have more extensive paper trails.
Goal (2) is really the major goal of this Cullen Family DNA Project.  As expected, many independent Cullen lineages are showing up, which agrees with what we know about multiple Irish Gaelic surnames being anglicized to Cullen, and other origins in EnglandScotland and Europe. See below for more on these connections.
Goal (3): There are genetic differences between Irish, Scottish and English people, but although on average the populations may differ, it is difficult to draw a firm boundary and state definitively what any one person’s patrilineal ancestry is. A few of our members can say their DNA shows very strong ties to a specific region. For example, several members are predicted as R-M222, which is extremely common in the north of Ireland and in Scotland. So members C-25 and C-27, whose common ancestor Luke Cullen was born in London in 18XX, know that their line very likely goes back to somewhere to the north. But DNA alone cannot say how and when their line left Scotland or Ireland and came to southern England—it could have been happened in ancient times, or in the 1700s as London was rapidly growing.
Accepting these limitations, it is fascinating to contemplate your ancestral line's place in history and in prehistoric movements of peoples. So far, all of our members belong to Y-chromosome haplogroups I and R1b, which the great majority of men in Great Britain and Ireland belong to (R1b alone is over 80% in Ireland, well over 50% in Britain). But your DNA results can tell even more if you look closer, just read below.
Comments on each member's results, in the order that they appear on our results page. (This is a lengthy list, and you can use the search function (control-F) to skip to the code number of the project member you are interested in (for example, C-5, these numbers appear on our patriarchs and results pages).
Like 80% of Irish men, six of our members are members of DNA haplogroup R1b. But several of our members show interesting/uncommon patterns within this large group:
  • Member C-7 matches the "Niall of the Nine Hostages" signature, which is found in up to 21% of men in northwest Ireland. He is descended from a line of Irish kings, or at least one of the most dominant and prolific families in Ireland. Obviously this is a common pattern, with over 350 matches in the FamilyTreeDNA database, but so far C-7 is the only Cullen.
  • Member C-2 has fewer matches, but is very close to the genetic signature of the "Colla Uais", the founding rulers of the old Ulster Irish - Scot kingdom of Dalriada, which evolved into the Scottish royal house. Member C-2 comes from Co. Cavan in UlsterIreland, and is trying to determine if his Cullen ancestors came from Scotland to Ireland in the last few hundred years, or if they had been in Ireland for a long, long time.
  • Members C-1 and C-8, although probably not related in the last 2000 years, show some very distinctive marker values, which place them in a well-defined "Southern Irish/Continental" group. For a more detailed explanation, and an analysis of results for our other R1b members, click here to visit the DNA page of our member JT Cullen. 
The other three members of the project are in Haplogroup I, which only about 10% of Irish and Scottish men belong to (the percentage is about 18% in England and around 40% in Scandinavia and northern Germany).
  • Member C-5 and C-18 have no other exact matches in the FT-DNA database, and belong to the unusual I1b2 haplogroup (I'm using the traditional names for the haplogroups), which occurs in 40% of men in Sardinia (an Italian island), and at low levels throughout western Europe. Despite this, their closest matches are from Ireland, so their ancestors probably have been in Ireland for thousands of years, like most of the R1b Cullens
  • Member C-3 has an even more unusual haplotype, with no matches or close matches--it looks like he belongs to Haplogroup I1c.  Testing of more markers could reveal a possible Scottish or Germanic origin for this Irish Cullen family
  • Member C-9 also has a very rare pattern, with no close matches. He belongs to Haplogroup I1b2*, formerly called I1(x). This groups is thinly and widely distributed across continental Europe, and given this Cullen family's NottinghamshireEngland origins, points to an Anglo-Saxon, Danish or Viking origin for the family (instead coming from British/Celtic people who were already on the island of Great Britain).
For more information on how to translate all the numbers on our results page to Haplogroupsclick here to visit the DNA page of our member JT Cullen. Or if you want to join our project, or have questions about these results, please email me---Bernie (member C-5) 
English Origins
There are three places in England where English Cullen families existed before the arrival of Irish emigrants: a large number in Kent, which is a county southeast of London, a smaller number in Somerset in the southwest, and another cluster in the East Midlands: in Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, and Cambridgeshire.
The Cullen name in Kent is said to be a locational name—but it is not clear if it was the name of a village or farm/estate, or whether it refers to Cologne, Germany or somewhere else on the Continent. Because many different men could have been given the name “from Cullen”, it is likely that there are multiple genetic lineages of Cullens from Kent, and so far the two member with roots in Kent are not Y-DNA matches. Member C-23 is descended from a Cullen family that traditionally worked as coachmen. Although there is a family tradition that their Cullen ancestor was from Ireland and came to England in the service of his employer, so far traditional genealogy has found only English Cullens living in Deal on the eastern coast of Kent. C-23 belongs to Haplogroup I1 which is more common in eastern England than western, and is often considered to indicate some form of Germanic ancestry, but I1 is also found in native Irish and Scots too. Member C-46 is descended from Rev. Joseph Cullen who was born in GreenstreetTeynham near the Thames estuary in northern Kent. C-46 has only tested 12 markers, and is an exact match to the Western Atlantic Modal Haplotype, which found in up to 5% of men in western Europe, making it the most common 12 marker DNA pattern in the region.
Member C-38 comes from an Irish Cullen family which emigrated in the 1800s to Longbenton, Walker, near Newcastle in northeast England, and later generations to the U.S. So far records have not revealed his Irish homeland. C-38’s results are placed in the English Origin section for easier comparison with C-23 from Kent—although both are in Haplogroup I1, there isn’t yet evidence of a genetic relationship in the past 1000 years, this could change if they do more testing.
As mentioned above, the East Midlands has an historic Cullen population, and the two members with roots in the area are genetic matches, both belonging to the rare Haplogroup I2b2 (formerly known as I(x) among other names), which is especially common in Germany. Member C-9 has traced his pedigree back to XXXX and C-20 back to XXXX and the lines do not meet, so this connection is an old one, and there has been time for two mutations to occur in the 25 markers that both have tested. This is great confirmation of their common East Midlands Cullen ancestry –the two members did not know of each other until recently, and had no guarantee of matching.
There are several surnames that could possibly be alternative spellings of Cullen and which are included in this project for that reason. The name Culling is most common in East Anglia (Norfolk and Suffolk), where Cullen was historically very rare. Member C-17’s Culling ancestors emigrated to Canada and Australia in the 1900s. C-17 belongs to the common Haplogroup R1b but a few uncommon marker values means he has no close matches with any surname. In particular, he doesn’t match any of our Cullensnor any of the other Cullings who have done DNA tests (results not shown because they did not request to join our project).
Early American
A major goal of this project is to sort out the origins of Cullen families who were in the US and Canada before the 1840s, when large-scale emigration from Ireland began. These early American families could have Irish, English, or Scottish roots, and the spelling of the name may not have always been Cullen. In the 1800s, there were several Cullen families in Delaware and nearby areas in Maryland, east of the Chesapeake Bay. Members C-22 and C-30 are descended from a James Cullen of XXXXX and their DNA results show them to be related. The relationship of James Cullen to Charles Cullen, the ancestor of C-33, has always been unclear—there were strong ties between the two families. It was disappointing to learn that C-33 is not genetically related on the Cullen side to James’ descendants, but now we have evidence that there was an adoption or name change in one of these lines, and there is a possibility that James’ ancestor was actually a man named Townsend.
Another early ancestor from Delaware is the Johannes van Culin, who was a member of the New Sweden colony on Delaware Bay. Despite the name, the colony had settlers from Sweden, Finland, and the Netherlands among other countries, and traditional genealogy points to the Netherlands/Belgium as the most likely origin for Johannes. The DNA supports this, his descendant C-35 is very close to the common Western European WAMH, which is almost absent in Finland and much commoner in the Netherlands than Sweden. C-35, who comes from a branch of the family that moved to Pennsylvania and spelled the name Culin (the beginning pronounced like the letter Q), does not match any of our early American Cullens. C-35 is fairly close to some of our Irish Cullens, but there is no reason to suspect this means a genetic connection—a common DNA type like the WAMH will match many, many people closely.
C-31 and C-34 are named Cullum, did not know each other before testing, and are perfect DNA matches. Although they have only tested 12 markers, they share a value of 11 for DYS 392, which is a very rare value within Haplogroup R1b. They can be certain share a common ancestor who lived within the last 800 or so years, since the time surnames began to be used. C-31 and C-34 both can trace back to families from Maryland, USA, although they cannot find where their lines meet.

Our new member C-36 with known roots in BlessingtonWicklowIreland, matches C-21 with family from Bray, Wicklow and Irish-American C-4. These three men have an uncommon DNA pattern also found in some other men from southeastern Ireland. This pattern is called the "LeinsterModal" and its distinctive marker values are underlined in C-4, C-21, and C-36's listings in our results grid. The Leinster Modal is found especially in men from families that were once rulers of the area, like Byrne, Kavanagh and Cullen (and also in some families in Scotland). You can compare the Cullen results to these other families, click here (The link will take you to the DYS464x project, which is using advanced testing to show that these families are related).
Notice that all three of these Cullens share the very rare value of 18,23 for YCA IIa,b. They have other distinctive values which are not common in other Leinster Modal families (these are in bold in our results grid). Still the three Cullens differ from each other at several markers, which indicatesthat their common ancestor lived a long time ago.
Now we can say that we have identified the main lineage of O'Cullen of Wicklow. Most Cullens from other parts of Ireland are _not_ related to this family. More Cullens from Leinster and other parts of Ireland are urged to take a test so we can learn more about the spread of this important family.
Here's more on some of other matches:
Member C-18 who was born and raised in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, matches member C-5, an Irish-American from Chicago, USA. They match exactly on all 25 markers that both have tested. This match was by no means guaranteed: although the two suspected their families were connected, they have each traced their ancestry back to the 1820s and found they descend from two different Cullen men living in the same parish. So the connection between C-5 and C-18 is probably more than 200 years ago.

The other good news is that the most of the remaining 16 lineages identified so far are very distinct from each other, and most are very distinctive when compared to Irish, English and Europeans in general. All this means that when new people join the Cullen project, and we get more matches between our members, we will have an easier time determining which of the matches reflect a shared Cullen ancestry, and are not merely chance matches based on very common marker values.

archived messages from Worldfamilies Cullen DNA site

Hello Pappy,

Thank you for updating your pedigree here, and I know that you have been able to find out even more information since January. Your DNA results are complete, and they show descent from the "Northwest Irish" lineage associated with "Niall of the Nine Hostages".

In addition, you may have a very old match with a Cullen with roots in Co. Tyrone, not too far from your origins in northern Co. Armagh.


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On 15:29pm, August 25th, 2008 cullenadmin said:
Hello Noelleen, JJCtransit, Clare,

Noelleen and JJC, your pedigrees have been added to our profile page. And JJCtransit has already received his DNA results. Noelleen, I need to get back to you, will send an email soon!

Clare, I think you are the person who is organizing a Cullen DNA group at  Is a Cullen relative of yours already taking a test?  I think that's exciting, and hopefully you will find new DNA project members at Ancestry. Please get in touch directly at my email, I would like to share information and ideas.

(Mr) Bernie Cullen
Seattle, USA

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On 18:29pm, August 23rd, 2008 clare said:
Richard Cullen born 1861 Lambstown, Killurin, Co. Wexford, Ireland
died 1943 Lambstown, Killurin, Co. Wexford
Mary Anne Cullen  (nee Roche) born 20/12/1871 Tomhaggard Forth, Co. Wexford, Ireland died Jan 1942

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On 15:26pm, January 17th, 2009 pappy said:
Parents of Joseph Cullen:
Edward Cullen and Elizabeth Raffferty, Co. Armagh Ireland, (dates unknown)

Joseph Cullen b1870 Ireland d.1918 Quincy Mass
m. Mary Conroy b.1880 Galway d 1960?Quincy Mass
their son
Frederick Pierce Cullen b1908 d1964 Quincy Mass
m.Agnes Inglis b1901 West Hartleypool England d 1977Quincy Mass
their son
Edward Dale Cullen b1930 d 1957 Quincy Mass,
m.Elizabeth Nugent b 1935, Yarmouth Maine d 1994California
their son
Daniel b. 1956, Quincy Mass

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On 22:22pm, November 3rd, 2007 cullenadmin said:
Hi Katherine, dewylie, and Jan,

Thanks to all of you for submitting your pedigrees. Jan, I know your cousin has already returned his test kit to the Cullen DNA project and we should get his results soon. I will work on getting all three pedigrees onto our pedigree page, and I hope that Katherine and dewylie consider joining our DNA project too!

Bernie Cullen
volunteer co-administrator, Cullen Family DNA Project

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On 18:38pm, November 3rd, 2007 katherinecking said:
1.  John Cullen b. 1811 County Westmeath, IRE, d. 1872 Sheboygan Co., WI
[had brothers James (b. 1799 IRE, d. 1872 Sheboygan Co., WI), Edward (b.c. 1815 IRE, d. 1884 Milwaukee, WI) and sister Bridget (b.c. 1816, d. 1889 Sheboygan Co., WI) m1. Truman Baker, m2.  Michael Carson]

    2.  Frank J. Cullen b. 1853, Jefferson Co., NY, d. 1935 Jefferson Co., AL

          3.  Harold Dempster Cullen b. 1882 Sheboygan Co., WI, d. 1962 Jefferson Co., AL

                4.  Frank Haywood Cullen b. 1921 Jefferson Co., AL, d. 2005 Naples, FL

                    5.  Katherine Ann Cullen m. Richard L. King

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On 3:52am, October 27th, 2007 cullenadmin said:
Hi Tiffany and Chris,

I've already emailed you privately, but thanks for adding your family history information to our pedigree forum. Chris, I hope you had a good visit to Ireland this summer, and please get in touch if you think a male relative would be willing to take a DNA test for us. Hopefully someone will be able to provide some info about the girls who emigrated to the US.

Tiffany, I've just sent an email to you today, and let us know if we can help with your search.

Bernie Cullen
volunteer co-administrator, Cullen Family DNA Project

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On 2:07am, November 1st, 2006 cullenadmin said:
Hi Shari and Jann,

Your pedigrees have been posted. I have corresponded with Jann before, good to see you here. Hope you both find a relative to join our DNA project.

Bernie Cullen

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On 2:10am, September 17th, 2006 cullenadmin said:
Thanks Don, Noelleen, and Chester,

Your pedigrees have been posted. Thank you Don for joining our project and you should get your results soon. Hope that Noelleen and Chester consider signing up for a test.

Bernie Cullen, co-administrator, Cullen Family DNA Project

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On 12:16pm, September 29th, 2006 cullenadmin said:
Hi Thomas,

Your pedigree has been posted. Hope you are part of the DNA project.

Bernie Cullen

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On 22:41pm, April 26th, 2006 marilyn said:
Hi, Arnold.  Your pedigree is posted.  Hope you are part of the DNA project.

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On 15:19pm, April 9th, 2006 marilyn said:
Hi, JT.  Your pedigree is posted.  Hope you are part of the DNA project.

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On 19:09pm, February 22nd, 2006 marilyn said:
Hi, John.  Your pedigree is posted.  Hope you are part of the DNA project.

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On 16:04pm, March 27th, 2006 marilyn said:
Hi, Paul.  Your pedigree is posted.  Hope you are part of the DNA project.

archived Cullen patriarch information from Worldfamilies DNA site

Members with Cullen ancestors from England:

C-23 Arthur Cullen, b.cir1760 m. Mary Epps - - P Cullen [neensollars AT ]

Richard b cir1798-1800 Deal, Kent, England m. Harriet Shalders
George Cullen b 1843 Marylebone, London m. Eliza Dungar
Henry Cullen b 1876 Paddington, London m. Florence Elizabeth Warner
Robert Cullen b. 1909 London m. Cecilia -----

C-38 Michael Cullen, b. Ireland m Mrs Ellen Cahill, widow - - Mike Cullen [ cullen AT]

Peter (Pierce) Cullen, b abt 1869 Longbenton, Walker (Newcastle), England m. Jane Dunkan
David Cullen b abt 1900 Longbenton, Walker M. Emily Calvert

Our matching members from Nottinghamshire/Lincolnshire/Derbyshire England:

C-9 Thomas Cullen, b. c1690 Upton, Nottinghamshire, m Elizabeth Whitton - - JT Cullen [jtcullen AT]

Gervase Cullen, b 1718 Upton, Notts, m Elizabeth Millward
Thomas Cullen, b 1751 Ancaster, Lincs, m Elizabeth Gratrix
William Cullen, b 1795 Great Hale, Lincs, m Elizabeth Houghton
Enos Cullen, b 1821 Great Hale, Lincs, m Betsy James
Charles E Cullen, b 1861 Castalia, Ohio, m Sarah Goodwin
James H Cullen, b 1887 Castalia, Ohio, m Grace Cable
C-20 William Cullen, m Elizabeth Wright in 1805, Heanor, Derbyshire - - Chris Cullen [chrisdcullen AT]

William Cullen, b abt 1808, m Eliza Richards in 1830, Radford, Nottingham
Willam Cullen b 1831 in Radford, Nottingham, m Sarah Anne Plowright
William James Cullen, b 1857 Nottingham, m Gertrude Roberts
Arthur Frederick Cullen, b 1886 Burton Joyce, Nottinghamshire, m Alice Redgate
Donald Herbert Cullen, b 1918 Nottingham, m Elizabeth (Betty) Irene -----

Another family with English origins:

C-17 Mark Culling, b early 1700s, Norfolk, England... ???- Diane Webb [geniegirl1010 AT]

John Culling, b abt 1880, Suffolk, England, m Annie Weeks
Harry Luke Culling, b Fremantle, Western Australia, m Daisy May Toombs
Norman Luke Culling, b Cottlesloe, Western Australia
Early American Families :

C-22 Johnathon Cullen,b: Abt 1837 in MD; d: Bet 4/1878-4/1880; M Didemiah Unknown - Jan Coffin [jancoffin AT]

James N Cullen b. 1862 Worcester County, MD d: 1921 Chincoteague, VA M: Amanda Catherine Ellen Niblet
Thomas James Cullen b: 18 Nov 1883 Sussex Cty, DE or Wicomico Cty MD d: 16 Sep 1964; m: Bessie Jane Hopkins
C-34 Johan VAN CULIN, b. 1627 place unknown, Dutch?, d aft1708 PA? ?m. Anna JOHANSDOTTER- Bernie Cullen [berniecullen AT]

George van CULIN, b 1675 Ridley Township, Chester County, PA d 1735/36, m abt 1705? Margaret MORTON
George CULIN, b 1709 Ridley Township, Chester County, PA d 1760, m abt 1733 Ann JUSTIS
Swan CULIN, b 1734 Ridley Township, Chester County, PA d 1776, m abt. 1761 Margaret HENDRICKSON
John CULIN, b 1761 Ridley T?ship, Chester Co, PA, m Ann LONGACRE
C-11 Charles Cullen, b. c. late 1700's Halifax Co. VA (family Scottish) m. Rebecca Penick- Don K. Cullen [scotchdc AT]

Dabney Phillips Cullen b. 1833 Lauderdale Co TN m. Elizabeth D. Conaway b. 1832 TN
Joel Bennett Cullen b. 1872 CROCKET TX, m. Lutie Pearl Prothro
Joel Bennett Cullen, Jr. b. 1901 Hallsville TX, m. Linnie, b. 1903 AR
Donald K Cullen b. 1927, Hallsville, TX
C-12 Isaac Cullen, b 1808 Hancock Co., (West) Virginia, m. Eliza Marshall - Judith Tauber-Lovik [mandjtlovik AT]

Israel Harvey Cullen b 1845 Hancock Co. (West) Virginia, m Mary Ann Grumley
Alvin Sylvester Cullen b 1880 Hancock Co, WV, d 1964 Columbiana Co, OH, m Martha Mina -----
Predicted R1b1-M222+, also known as "Niall of the Nine Hostages" group and/or R1b1b2e:

C-7 Michael Cullen, b Ireland, m Mary Bridget Brannigan - - Karen Cullen [kcullen343 AT]

Patrick J. Cullen, b 1866 Knocktopher, Kilkenny, Ireland, m Katherine T Lynch
Edward Cullen, b 1897 Brooklyn, NY, m Mary Morrissey
John P.T. Cullen, m Josephine -----
C-25 Richard Cullen, m Betsy ??? - - Helen Cullen [helenjay1 AT]

Luke Cullen, b 1817 London? England, m Elizabeth Bunker
Mark Cullen, b 1843 Tasmania, Australia, m Maggie Clark
William John Cullen, b 1867 Port Sorrell, Tasmania, m Annie Elizabeth Walkley
Ralph Arnold Cullen, b 1892 Mersey, Tasmania, m Margaret Zantuck
Bryan Leslie Cullen, b 1933, m Marlene -----
C-27 Richard Cullen, m Betsy Ann ??? - - Bernie Cullen [berniecullen AT]

Luke Cullen, b abt 1819 England, m Elizabeth Bunker
Daniel Cullen, b 1855 Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, m Caroline Franklin
John Cullen, b 1891 Hobart, Tasmania, m Emma Johnson
West/Southwest Ireland:

C-19 Patrick Cullen b. c1790, m. Mary Whelan, lived Tynagh, Co. Galway - Jann Callaghan Cullen [jann AT]

John Cullen b. 1827 Tynagh, Co. Galway, m.Catherine Kirwan
John Cullen - born 1856, Tynagh, Co. Galway; m. Ellen Brehony
Thomas Cullen; b. 1879, Tynagh, Co. Galway; m. Margaret
Laurence Cullen; b. 1921, Tynagh, Co. Galway
North/Northwest Ireland:

C-32 Patrick Cullen b. abt1831, Gortnagrelly, Sligo, Ireland m Margaret Nicholson- J J Cullen [jjc771 AT]

Peter Cullen, b. 1874 Gortnagrelly, Co Sligo, Ireland. m. Katherine Commons
Patrick Cullen, b. 1903 Gortnagrelly, Sligo, died NY City, m. Elizebeth -----

C-2 John Cullen b. 17xx, m Elizabeth- Arnold Gary Cullen [gary.cullen AT]

Joseph Cullen, b. 1808 Swanlinbar, Co Cavan, Ireland. m. Mary Anne Carr (Kerr)
Alexander Cullen, b. 1864 Swanlinbar, m. Ella May Bennet
Walter Cullen, b. 1890, m Othelia Nicks
Our Clogher, Tyrone genetic lineage:

C-5 Bernard Cullen, b before 1800, Co Tyrone, Ireland, m Catherine ??? - Bernie Cullen [berniecullen AT]

Thomas Cullen b around 1820, Clogher Parish, Co Tyrone, Ireland, m Mary McCann
Bernard Cullen b 1869, Tullycorker, Clogher, Co Tyrone, Ireland, m Catherine O'Connor
John Bernard Cullen, b and d 1900s, Chicago, IL
James Edward Cullen, b 1900s Chicago, IL, d 1900s, Los Angeles, CA
C-18 Patrick Cullen, b before 1820, Co Tyrone, Ireland, m ???- Bernie Cullen [berniecullen AT]

Patrick Cullen b before 1850, Clogher Parish, Co Tyrone, Ireland, m Margaret McSorley
Joseph Cullen b 1877, Eskra Parish, Co Tyrone, Northern Ireland m. Lena XXXXX
(living children)
Eastern/Southeastern Ireland:

Our Wicklow Lineage, distantly connected to families like the O'Byrnes and Kavanaghs::

C-21 John Cullen, b 1845, Brae, Co Wicklow, Ireland m Roseanna Marley - Chester Cullen [chestercullen AT]

Hugh Cullen b 1800s PA m Sarah Templeton
Other Eastern/Southeastern Ireland families:

C-3 John Cullen, b c1790 m Eleanor - Bernie Cullen [berniecullen AT]

Richard Cullen, b. c1829 Kilbride, Co Carlow, Ireland. m Jane Clancy
James A. Cullen, b. c1866 Detroit, Michigan, USA , m. Annie ???
James Lawrence Cullen, b. c1901 Detroit, Michigan USA
Ireland, unknown county:

C-42 Joseph Cullen, b.abt1870 (Northern?) Ireland m. Mary Conroy --- Dan Cullen [onecullen AT]

Frederick Pierce Cullen b 1908 Quincy, Mass., USA m. Agnes Inglis
Edward Dale Cullen, b 1930 Quincy, Mass. m. Elizabeth ------
C-10 ______Cullen, b 18xx, Ireland - Paul D Cullen, Sr. [pcullen AT]

John F. Cullen, b Frankfurt ME,1857, d 17 April 1920 Boston, MA
James F. Cullen, b Boston, MA 9 Jan 1904, d Westport, CT 10 Sep 1993

Other families not yet in DNA project:

John Cullen, b 1811 Co. Westmeath, Ireland - - Katherine King [kcking AT]

Frank J. Cullen, b 1853 Jefferson Co., NY
Harold Dempster Cullen, b 1882 Sheboygan Co., Wisconsin, USA
Frank Haywood Cullen, b 1921 Jefferson Co., Alabama, USA
John Cullen, b 1800s Co. Wexford, Ireland - - Shari [scn_hemma AT]

Thomas Joseph Cullen, b 1889 Duncormick, Co. Wexford
Joseph Paul Cullen, b 1945 New York
Edward Cullen, b 1840 Kingstown (Dunleary), Dublin, Ireland, m Helen Walters - - Diane Eustance [de AT]

Herbert Cullen, b 1871, Ireland or Birkenhead, Merseyside, England

Edward Cullen, b 1829 Co. Westmeath Ire, m Margaret Sherman New York - Tom Cullen [cullent001 AT]

Edward Cullen Jr. b 1860s, vice mayor Toledo, OH. 1890's
John F. Cullen b 1861, Wayne MI d 1906, Wayne Postmaster
Thomas J. Cullen b 1872, b Wayne, MI

Gordon Cullen, b New Zealand, m Mertle Robson - Noelleen Subloo [nsubloo AT]

Bart Cullen,Nancy Cullen, Betty Cullen, Thelma Cullen, all b. New Zealand

Friday, May 05, 2017

McCullen family still present in County Antrim

I received the message below a few days ago. Please email me at and I will forward your message to Charlotte

"I am from County Antrim N Ireland and my maiden name is McCullen.  My fathers family came from Loughmourne in Co Antrim.  In fact Mr Gary McCullen, my dads still living brother, (my dad died in 2003) still lives in the village of Loughmourne.  I know when I was living in N Ireland and growing up noticed there were only a few , maybe 2 other than our family in the telephone book.
I know that my dads cousin emigrated to Canada many years ago, I never met him.  My family were farmers and I believe farmers generations back. 

I now live in East Anglia in U Kingdom.

It is great to read about other McCullens around the world.  I know that Mc rather than Mac in Ireland was protestant surname and names beginning with MacC etc were normally Catholic names.  Interesting.

Any one who thinks they are related to me please contact me

Thanking you.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Update on The only American ever executed in Northern Ireland

Back in 2010 I posted about an Eddie Cullens who was an American citizen, hanged for murder in Northern Ireland in 1932. I quickly was able to learn some additional information but never posted it here:

According to his US Naturalization petition (1927) his birth name was Isaac Joseph Cohen born 4 Feb 1903 in Smyrna. He emigrated to the US from Marseilles on the SS Roma on 20 Jan 1920, arriving in New York on 3 Feb 1920.

I found the ships record at for free: His name was spelled Jsaac Cohen and he was going to his brother Joshua J Cohen who lived on Broadway, his sister Esther Cohen remained in Constantinople. The date and name of ship was the same as on his Naturalization Petition. The brother's name was (mis)spelled Joshna.

So then the challenge came to find any descendants of his brother Joshua, here is some of what I learned:
According to Joshua Cohen' WWI draft registration card, he worked at the 229 E. Bway address but lived at 104 Essex? He was born June 15, 1890 in Smyrna.
I found Joshua and his family in the 1920 census, but couldn't find them in the 1930, or Joshua alone in 1910, or Eddie in 1920 or 1930. On his Naturalization petition, Joshua gave the name, date, and ship of his arrival:
ship Berlin, 18 Jan (possibly June) 1910 arrived in NY.
At, the ship Berlin is shown as arriving on 18 Jan 1910 (and not at all in June) but I checked the whole list a almost all the passengers were Italian.
I did find him in the ship record, in the index his name is transcribed as Tussesa Cohen, but there is an ink blot over his first name and it could be anything. He was travelling with several other people from Turkey but none named Cohen as far as I can tell. He is on line 28 and listed no contact in Turkey, and in New York, "friend Benjamin Cohen 31[?] St. Mark's Place New York"

I had a look at the 1910 census, and either found Benjamin alone, or didn't find any Cohens at the address, I forget which. But it looks like Eddie/Isaac didn't have any close family in NY other than Joshua.

Also on his Nat Pet. Joshua said he was born 15 May 1890 in Smyrna, Turkey
his wife is Louisa born in Bulgaria on 16 Jun (or Jan). He has one child Margaret Cohen born on July 24, 1912.

On his "Declaration of Intent" from 1910 (on the same .jpg file as the Nat Pet), Joshua gives his occupation as Interpreter.

On his draft card from 1917, Joshua's birthday is again given as 15 May 1890, and is a Clerk at the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society at 229 East Broadway (the organization still exists but the building is being torn down:

----The whole point of the above is to show that the attached 1920 census return is really Joshua, even though there are some misspellings, and they list him as being born in Russia. On the 1920 census, Louisa and Margaret are listed, and so is daughter Edith, age 1 year  6? months.

We contacted the HIAS where Joshua worked, they were helpful, but they couldn't find much more than. They found the death certificate for Joshua's wife, but no record of next of kin, etc.
So that's where we left it back in 2010. Perhaps there is something more to learn now that the 1940 census is available. It is such an interesting story.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Cullens of Carrick, Ballinlough, Co. Roscommon, Ireland

Gerry Cullen of Australia sent me this story:

"My great great grandfather was James (or at least we are led to believe from one old land notice) who was said to be married to Sarah Cullen, of Carrick, Ballinlough, Co. Roscommon, Ireland. Sarah died circa 1861 and the land and house was inherited by my great grandfather Michael Cullen who was married to Mary Scarry, Michael was born circa 1829 and died 1881 aged 52. Therefore his mother Sarah would have been born in the early part (or possibly even before) the 1800's.

"There is no mention of James Cullen in any other documents but an Andrew Cullen appears between the years 1832 and 1840's and I am anxious to find out if this Andrew was in fact an elder brother of Michael or perhaps Sarah's husband (and not James). It is also possible that this Andrew may have died or emigrated during the Great Famine period in Ireland as his name is not mentioned in any documents after. The name Andrew was inherited by my grandfather Dominick Andrew Cullen so there may be a very close family connection.

"Please note that the name Cullen was also spelt Cullinane in this days (with or without the 'e') Records in Ireland are very scarce as most were destroyed by the Civil War in Ireland in the 1920's including the most precious years of the famine era. While I have had no success in finding the answers to the above in various genealogy websites, I though it worth while to include it here as someone living outside Ireland may be a descendant of the abovementioned Andrew Cullen or Cullinane if he did actually sail to America to escape starvation and death."

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The only American ever executed in Northern Ireland

Eddie Cullens was a Jew born in 1904 in the eastern Mediterranean, different sources say Crete, Cyprus, or Smyrna (Turkey). It is not known what his name at birth was, I think it's unlikely he was born a Cullens. At some point. he moved to the US and was naturalized as an American citizen in 1928 while living in the Bronx, New York. In 1931 he boarded a ship to England and his occupation was listed as "motion-picture projectionist", and he was traveling with a Mr. Zaro Agha, a native of Turkey. According a story from the BBC, Edward Cullens was involved with a circus exhibition of Mr. Agha, the "oldest man in the world" at age 156!

Eddie went to Belfast with another Turkish circus worker, Achmet Musa, who was found shot dead one day. Eddie was convicted of the murder and hanged at Crumlin Road jail, all the while protesting his innocence. As was the custom, he was buried in an unmarked grave on the Crumlin grounds.

Because of new construction at the site, the government is planning to allow the bodies of the executed men to be claimed by relatives, identified by DNA testing if necessary, and reburied in cemeteries. The Jewish community of Belfast is interested in burying Eddie in their cemetery, but so far no relative of Eddie has come forward.

I recently received an email from an interested party who is searching for any relatives or information. Eddie is believed to have had a brother who remained in New York. By searching databases, I was able to find Eddie's 1928 Naturalization index card, where he was listed as single, living at 1709 E. 174th St., and his ship's arrival record in Southhampton, England in 1931. I have not been able to find him in any census.

If you have any ideas or information, please email me at

Friday, December 04, 2009

1911 Irish census: Spelling variations

Cullen is much more common than any of its variant spellings or similar surnames (except for Collins of course). Here are some of the different names/spellings found in the 1911 census of Ireland.

What is interesting about this? Some of the names that appear somewhat common in the U.S are rare or absent (Cullens and Cullins for example, also Cullum/Cullom is rare--maybe it's more of an English name?) Also names mentioned in the surname histories as being variants of Cullen are absent (Culloon, Culhoon).
If a number is not given, there were less than 10 people with that name in the census, usually only 1 or 2.

CULLEN-7181 names

variant spellings and very rare surnames:

Then there are some names that are clearly different families, not just spelling variations:
CULHANE (611, mostly Limerick)
CULL (232, Down, Leitrim, Antrim and a few other counties)
CULLINEY (44, Mayo and Clare)
CULLINAN (863, Waterford to Roscommon)
CULLINANE (1240,Waterford to Roscommon)

Then there are the variant of McCullen:

This list is only for names containing CUL, so names like COLLEN, COLLINS, KILLEN, QUILLEN, and McQUILLAN are not listed