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Cullen and Cullinan of the North

My Cullen family is from the townland of Tullycorker, near the small town of Clogher in southern County Tyrone (Northern Ireland). To keep things simple, all the information on this site is linked from this main page, just scroll down to see everything available.

There are Cullens living there today, but I do not know how we are related. I'm currently researching all Cullens, Cullions, Cullinans and similar names from the Clogher and Omagh areas, and my interest extends to include everyone with these names from the north and northwest of Ireland. I'm also interested in some families that Cullen women married into such as HEAGNEY (most of the Tyrone relatives that we have kept in touch with are named Heagney), McCAUGHEY and PHILLIPS.

I call this site Cullen and Cullinan "of the north" because most people with these surnames live elsewhere in Ireland: Cullen is most common in Dublin and southeast Ireland, and Cullinan/Cullinane is nearly restricted to the west, from Galway south to Cork. I've created these surname distribution maps to illustrate this: click here for a map of the Cullen surname in the mid-1800s based on Griffith's Valuation, and click here for a map of present-day Cullens based on names in the phonebook. For Cullinan/Cullinane, click here for the 1800s map (I haven't yet made a present-day map).

Why am I interested in these families?

As I describe below, official records for most Irish people do not exist before 1864--there are no surviving censuses from that period, and birth and marriage records were never collected by the government of the time. But I would like to know more about the history of my Cullen family--did they move to Clogher from southeast Ireland where the Cullen name is most common? Or are they related to the numerous Cullens in the Dungannon and Armagh areas? Or to the Cullens from the RosGuill penninsula in Donegal?

See the the Cullen family DNA project (http://worldfamilies.net/surnames/c/cullen/index.html) which explains how simple genetic tests can establish links between families and help trace the migration of different Cullen lineages. In some cases it can also reveal whether a specific Cullen family has ancient roots in Ireland, or descends from a man who came in historical times, such as during the Norman invasions of the middle ages, or later from England or Scotland.

Records available on this site

Click here for the 18 families I am tracing. My ancestors are Thomas Cullen and Mary McCann. How are my Cullens related to these other families? I do not know.

I'm currently going through Irish Civil Registration records, which begin in 1864. In Clogher, I have located 7 families of Cullens who had children in the 1864-1881 period, and 9 families of Cullinans. In Omagh, I have located one family of each surname. Below are some summaries from the indexes to the civil records for the period 1864-1959. I have completed my research in the indexes for Cullens and Heagneys in Clogher, but I have more to do for the Omagh area and so the files below are not yet complete. These files contain notes to myself, which may be difficult for you to understand.

Click here for a listing of Cullens and Cullinans found in the birth indexes for Clogher and Omagh for 1864-1959 (for privacy, I do not publish on the web full names in the birth index after 1911, which is the year of the last publicly available census). Please contact me privately if you are interested in one of these families. (uploaded 11/30/06)

Click here for a listing of Cullens and Cullinans found in the marriage indexes for Clogher and Omagh for 1864-1911 (uploaded 11/30/06).

Click here for transcriptions of Cullen and Cullinan marriage records from Clogher and Omagh for 1864-1911 (uploaded 11/30/06)

Click here for a listing of Cullens and Cullinans found in the death indexes for Clogher and Omagh for 1864-1911. This file includes age at death. (uploaded 11/30/06).

Click here for transcriptions of Cullen and Cullinan death records from Clogher and Omagh for 1864-1911 (uploaded 11/30/06)

I have also started looking for these families in the 1901 and 1911 censuses, the only ones available. Eventually I intend to look at every townland in the Clogher and Omagh areas. My work to date is listed below, according to the microfilm numbers assigned by the LDS (Mormon church) Family History Centers where I have been doing my research.

Click here for film 855973, which includes part of Clogher Civil Parish, (including Tullycorker), for 1901. Every person in Tullycorker is listed, and Cullens were also found in Eskernabrogue and Tycanny.

Click here for film 855974, which includes parts of Clogher and neighboring civil parishes, for 1901. I found Cullens in Eskra, Lislane and Clogher Town.

Click here for film 856149, which includes most of Clogherny Civil Parish, in Omagh PLU, for 1901. I found one small Cullen family.

Another source of information are Roman Catholic Parish Registers of marriages and baptisms. In some cases they go back to the 1820s or a little earlier, but each parish is different. Most parishes have some existing registers, and most have these have been microfilmed, but only about half of the microfilms are available in the US. The other microfilms are only available for viewing in Dublin and/or Belfast. Unfortunately, Clogher parish is one of these.

Click here for film 979704, the Aughintaine/Fivemiletown register for 1870-1880. The only record of interest is the marriage of Patrick Cullen of Tullycorker to Mary Hackett Kelly of Lislane, where they settled.

Click here for film 979705, the Donacavey/Fintona register for 1857-1880. Some Cullinan families familiar from Clogher civil records were baptised and marriage in Donacavey parish, but none of the Clogher Cullen families appear. There is a Neil Cullen/Margaret O'Neill family in Donacavey.

Where are these places? And some definitions of terms on this page.

Clogher is a small town in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, very near the border with County Monaghan in the Republic of Ireland. It has been an important center for centuries, and there is a diocese named Clogher in both the Church of Ireland (Anglican) and Roman Catholic Church. Click here for Clogher entry in the online encylopedia wikipedia.

Eskra is the name of a nearby village, and it is also the name of a townland adjacent to Tullycorker. My ancestor Michael McCANN was from Eskra (Eskragh) townland. Click here for Eskra entry in wikipedia.

Although my ancestors are from Tullycorker, County Tyrone, Civil Records in Ireland are not listed by townland or county. Instead, these records are indexed by "Superintendent Registrars District" also known as "Poor Law Union" these are administrative subdivisions that came into use in the 1800s. The Clogher PLU is mostly in Co. Tyrone, but part of it is in Co. Monaghan. This is the general pattern in Ireland: different geographical systems overlap and are not neatly nested (unlike the USA with its orderly system of State, County, Township in most states).

The PLUs aka "Superintendent Registar's Districts" are the most important thing to know when looking in the birth indexes which start in Ireland in 1864. My Cullen families were right on the border between Omagh PLU and Clogher PLU. Most of them lived in Clogher PLU, so they are listed as being born in "Clogher" in the birth indexes, and in fact they were born about 3 miles from Clogher town. Another family is listed as being born in "Omagh" but in fact they were born about 5 miles from Clogher and 12 miles from Omagh town--they just happen to fall across the line of the Omagh PLU.

Luckily there is an excellent County Tyrone genealogy webpage (click here) that has townland maps of each parish.

Click here for an excellent explanation of the registration of births, deaths and marriages at the Connors Genealogy website. They also have a useful map showing the boundaries of the Poor Law Unions.

Go to www.seanruad.com for a database with all of the tens of thousands of townlands in Ireland, and other divisions like Counties, Civil Parishes, PLUs and Baronies.

Click here for a map I drew showing Omagh PLU, the Civil Parishes and census districts (D.E.D.s) and how its boundaries were changed around 1880 to incorporate part of the former Gortin PLU.

I don't intend this to be a comprehensive website, so I refer you to these other useful links:

the best Cullen genealogy page (by JTCullen) (http://www.lrbcg.com/jtcullen/Index.htm)
the Cullen family DNA project (http://worldfamilies.net/surnames/c/cullen/index.html)
leave your comments at my Cullen genealogy blog (http://cullengene.blogspot.com)
Clogher Historical Society (http://www.clogherhistory.ie) publishes the Clogher Record, which is the best source of local history and genealogy information for south Tyrone, Fermanagh and Monaghan.


Please send me emails with any suggestions or comments Bernie Cullen.