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Origins of the Sullivan surname

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What does the name Sullivan mean?

The origin of the Sullivan name is in Ireland, where it is still the third most popular surname in the country (and is particularly prevalent in Cork and Kerry). From there it has spread to the rest of the English-speaking world. It is believed to be an anglicisation of a patronymic, referring to someone who is the son or descendant of 'Suileabhan' (the dark-eyed, or hawk-eyed one).

Alternative variations of the name Sullivan

Sullivan, Sulivan, Sullvan, Sullivane, Sollivan, O'Sullivan

I’ve managed to trace back to the mid-1500s! I can’t believe it! Utterly engrossing and I have uncovered some quite moving and heartbreaking stories attached to various ancestors. You don’t need any qualifications to start - just time patience, and some information.

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Where do most Sullivans live?

In 1921, most Sullivans lived in London.


Census records trace your ancestors through each generation, so you can follow where your relatives lived through each decade.

Interesting facts about Sullivans

How common is your surname?

223rd most common surname in the UK

We have 119,000 records for the Sullivan surname. The oldest one dates back to 1575.

Who were Sullivans most likely to marry?

Murphys

&

Smiths

Our Marriage record sets tell us which families married Sullivans.

What are the most common Sullivan first names?

  • John
  • James
  • Mary
  • Margaret

Our birth record sets tell us the names of Sullivan family members

Common jobs for Sullivans

Men and women often performed different types of jobs, so these are displayed by gender to maintain their historical accuracy.

Common Female occupations for Sullivans in 1921
Laundress

682

Charwoman

648

Servant

477

Domestic Servant

393

Dressmaker

329

Common Male occupations for Sullivans in 1921
General Labourer

1,259

Tailor

693

Dock Labourer

630

Laborer

504

Semiskilled Chauffeurs And Drivers

463

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Census records provide incredible detail on names, ages, marital statuses, occupations and more.

We found over 130,000 family trees with the Sullivan surname

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