Origin of the Name O'Sullivan
The origin of the name O'Sullivan
was found in the allfamilycrests.com archives.
Over the centuries Surnames developed a wide number of variants. Different spellings of the same name can be traced back to an original root. Additionally when a bearer of a name emigrated it was not uncommon that their original name would be incorrectly transcribed in the record books at their new location. Surnames were also often altered over the years based on how they sounded phonetically and depending on the prevailing political conditions it may have been advantageous to change a name from one language to another.
Variants of the name O'Sullivan
include Sullivan and Sulivan. Meaning 'hawk-eyed', their ancestry dates back to the third century, when Olioll Olum was King of Munster. Their first territory was in County Tipperary and as they thrived they spread to Counties Cork and Kerry. The Chieftain of the O'Sullivans was O'Sullivan Mor, and his stronghold was at Kenmare Bay in Kerry. O'Sullivan Beare occupied Dunboy on Bantry Bay. They fought at Kinsale and defended Dunboy to the last stone. That began the epic march of O'Sullivan Beare who thwarted savage attacks to reach Brian O'Rourke's Leitrim Castle. They then left for the hospitality of Philip III of Spain, where many distinguished themselves in the service of his army and navy.
The O'Sullivan coat of arms came into existence centuries ago. The process of creating coats of arms (also often called family crests) began in the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this. The new art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own coat of arms, including all O'Sullivan descendants.