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This blog covers the entire history of Cullen and similar surnames, but I am especially interested in living Cullen families and the Cullen Family DNA project. Posts about the I-P37.2 Y-chromosome haplogroup have been moved to http://I2aProject.blogspot.com Contact me at berniecullen@gmail.com

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    from lewis' topographical dictionary of Ireland (1842):
    Tyrone--Clogher
    scroll down or search for Clogher or O'Cuillen:

    Clogher is called by Ptolemy Rhigia or Regia; and according to some authors, St. Patrick founded and presided over a monastery here, which he resigned to St. Kertenn when he went to Armagh, to establish his famous abbey there; but according to others, it was built at the command of St. Patrick in the street before the royal palace of Ergal, by St. Macartin, whoe died in 506, and from its vicinity to this palace both the abbey and the town appear anciently to have been called Uriel or Ergal. In 841, the abbot Moran Mac Inrachty was slain by the Danes. In 1041 the church was rebuilt and dedicated to St. Macartin. In 1126 the Archdeacon Muireadhach O'Cuillen was killed by the people of Fermanagh. Moelisa O'Carrol, Bishop of Clogher, in 1183, on his translation of the archbishoprick of Armagh, presented to this abbey a priest's vestments and a mitre, and promised a pastoral staff; he also consecrated the abbey church. etc etc

    Why did the people of Fermanagh kill the archdeacon?

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    Distribution of Cullinans and Cullinanes based on Griffith's Evaluation (1848-1868). Cullinan is the blue dots, and Cullinane is the red.

    Compare this map to the map showing the distribution of Cullen, and note how there is little overlap. (except in Tyrone where my Cullens are from, and which is the only place in Ulster where Cullinan was found).


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  • 10/12/06--12:29: New Cullen Distribution Map
  • Map Updated June 2008 with new DNA Project Members




    Download this map and you can see it in much better detail (doubleclick to see it fullscreen, or right-click and save the picture). This is based on Griffith's Valuation from the mid 1800s. I placed the dots on the map by hand, but they are mostly accurate. This map will be useful for the Cullen Family DNA Project: http://www.worldfamilies.net/surnames/c/cullen/ The red Xs are where some of our members' families are from, and the red ?s are our members who only know the county their Cullen ancestors are from. (If your eyes are good enough to see some bluish dots, those are families spelled Cullion or Cullian). Obviously, most of the Cullens lived in the southeast of Ireland, in Dublin, Wicklow, Wexford, and that's where we need to get more members. The second map shows the current distribution of Cullens based on online phone books. The lower map is a reference map showing county names and largest towns. It's from http://www.irelandstory.com/ which has lots of interesting maps and history.

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  • 03/09/07--13:57: Trip to Ireland
  • Thanks to this Cullen genealogy blog, I got in touch with Pearse Cullen of Northern Ireland (See his comment on Cullen's point altar field).

    It's hard to believe that he is new to genealogy research because he's so interested and good at it. I found a cheap ticket to Dublin on Washington's Birthday weekend, and drove up to Tyrone to meet Pearse and his family. It had been almost 18 years since I last visited, but the area was beautiful as I remembered. This time Pearse and I had figured out how I was related to everybody--when I met his uncle Vince Cullen back in 1989, we suspected a connection but weren't sure exactly how.

    Here's a picture of me and Pearse approaching the field of our ancestor, Thomas Cullen. (Pearse's relatives remember when Thomas' house still standing here, but today only the foundation remains). More pictures are available, just send me an email if you'd like the link.

    (temporarily unable to upload pictures to blog--check back later)

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  • 07/13/07--21:16: English Cullens in Tasmania
  • There is a great story here that I'd like to learn more about:
    http://www.heavenandhelltogether.com/index.php?q=node/31 (link updated May 2009).

    In 1835 Luke Cullen was convicted of stealing by a court in Middlesex, England (near London), and sentenced to 7 years transportation to Van Diemen’s Land, which is now called the island of Tasmania, Australia.

    He married Elizabeth Bunker and it looks like they had a large and successful family and many descendants. One of his direct male descendants submitted a DNA sample to the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation a year or more ago, and now has results available.

    I would like to get in contact with anyone of this family or who knows the family.

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    As some of you might know, there were only a few places in England
    where the name Cullen was found in the 1800s: the main areas were
    central England (Nottinghamshire and surrounding area), southwest
    England (Somerset), the cities of London and Liverpool (probably
    mainly recent Irish immigrants) and a very high concentration in the
    extreme southeast of England--Kent!
    You can see the map for England, Scotland and Wales at the surname
    profiler
    here (click on the 'Search for a Surname' circle, then type the surname Cullen and select the year 1881):


    Has anyone investigated the census in more detail for 1881 to see which Cullen families originated in Ireland versus Scotland or England? This would be especially interesting for the Cullens in Scotland. I'm about to start some research on the censuses available at http://ancestry.co.uk so let me know if you have already done some work on this so I don't repeat it.

    Here's a note that Jim Cullen of the best Cullen genealogy website sent me (his website address is http://www.lrbcg.com/jtcullen

    Collins.
    (3rd S. xi. 84,161,323.)
    Your correspondents ALTER and C.T. COLLINS TRELAWNY may find the following of service:-
    Mr. M.A. Lower, in his Patronymica Britannica, derives the English names Culling, Collins, &c. - the Scottish Cullen and Cullan - the Irish Cullen - from Cuillean and O'Cuillean, the tribe-name of some Irish clan. He may be possibly right as far as the Irish "Cullen" or "Cullin" is concerned. He is totally wrong about the Scottish Cullen - a name properly spelt Cullayne or Cullane, and borne by a family who held lands of that ilk near the stream of the same name in Banffshire as early as the thirteenth century. Respecting the English "Collins," &c. he has made an equally hasty and erroneous decision. A glance at any Armory or Heraldry will show that all the English families spelling their name indifferently Cullen, Collen, Culling, Cullinge, and Collins - whether of Kent, Essex, Staffordshire, or Devon - are of one stock, bearing the griffin segreant (differenced) on their shield, and probably all having their origin in a parent stem deriving its name from the village of C
    ulinge, in the hundred of Riseburge, Suffolk, mentioned in Domesday (292b.) as owned by "Comes Alanus."
    In Kent the form of Cullen is most common. Folkestone churchyard is full of tombstones bearing it; and it may be traced at Canterbury, and all along the east coast and Isle of Thanet.
    A gentleman who settled at Woodlands, near Ashburton, Devon, is called Cullen in the county histories, and Culling in the Harl. MSS. where his arms are given. His line terminated in an heiress who, four or five generations back, married Fursdon of Fursdon. In Essex, Collen appears most usual, and still exists there in a good family. Collins is a corruption found everywhere. Any good heraldry will give every variation of the name and difference of the coat armour. There is but one exception to the rule that all this family of names derive from one original "Culinge"; and that, although no one now exists of the race who bore it, it may be as well to mention. Richard Cullen, of an ancient family of Breda in the Duchy of Brabant, descended from Arnould von Ceulen, living A.D. 1300, came to England on the persecution of the Protestants by the Duke of Alva. His son or grandson was created a baronet by Charles II. The family, however, became extinct, apparently even in the female
    line, in 1730. (Burke, Extinct Baronetcies.)
    X.C.

    ----------------------

    [The village of Culinge in Suffolk is now known as Cowlinge.]
    [The word Comes appears in documents during the reign of the Conqueror, and later. It appears at least thirty-five times in the Doomsday Book (Index Nominum Personarum, Libri vocati Exon' Domesday, p. 606), beginning with such names as: Comes Alanus, Comes Albericus, and so on. Comes in this case has sometimes been mistaken for a family name. Comes, therefore, in this instance means simply Earl (also a follower, or companion). The pronunciation is Co-mes, in two syllables.]

    ----------------------

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  • 05/17/08--11:22: Cullen Vampire DNA
  • Just for fun, let's imagine that we could test the DNA of the fictional Cullen family of vampires from the Twilight books by Stephenie Meyer http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twilight_(series)


    I haven't read the books yet (maybe I'll wait for the movie coming out later this year), but it seems like there is a big family tree of vampires with the last name Cullen. Most of these were adopted: Edward Cullen, Emmett Cullen and Alice Cullen all had different last names originally. So we wouldn't expect them to match any of the members of the Cullen Family DNA Project.

    But the patriarch of the family, and the original vampire, Dr. Carlisle Cullen, was born a Cullen in London, England in the 1600s. His father was an Anglican minister. These are some good clues to tracing his possible real-life Cullen relatives. As discussed in the post below, there were three main centers of the Cullen surname in England: in Somerset in the southwest, around Nottingham in the middle of the country, and Kent in the Southeast.

    Of course, Kent is close to London, so it's most likely that Carlisle is related to our member C-23 whose ancestor Arthur Cullen was from Deal, Kent:
    http://www.worldfamilies.net/surnames/c/cullen/results.html


    After living as a vampire in Europe for two centuries, Carlisle Cullen came to the American midwest (Chicago then Wisconsin). Interestingly, there was a real man named Joseph Cullen who came to Kentucky around 1850. He was born in Kent, England, and he was a Protestant minister. Could this be a connection to Carlisle's family?


    So to summarize, please get in touch if you are a Cullen man willing to be tested for our DNA project. The Cullen family of vampires may be fictional, but we can see if you have a real genetic connection to our other families in Kent and throughout the world.

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    A very large percentage of people named Cullen all over the world go back to Cullens from Ireland. But we know there are native English and Scottish families as well. The situation is confused because many Irish Cullens emigrated to England and Scotland over the last 200 years, and some Cullen descendants may not know where their family was originally from.

    To investigate this, I searched the 1841 and 1881 Scotland censuses trying to identify established Cullen families. I defined these as households where the male head of the family was born in the same county and parish where he resided at the time of the census. I chose the 1881 census because the National Trust Names website provides a map of the surname for that year, click here

    Here are some of my findings:

    --because the industrial revolution was strong in Scotland, many people had moved away from their birthplaces even in 1841
    --In 1841 there were some Irish Cullen families mainly in the Glasgow area, but by 1881 the number of Irish-background Cullens in Scotland was roughly equal to the number of Scottish-background Cullens
    --There is only one name occurring in any quantity that is similar to Cullen and which could possibly be confused with Cullen--Collin and Collins. All other variants and spellings (Collen, Cullin, Cullins, McCullen, Collinge, Cullane and many others) were very rare in Scotland in 1881.

    --there are only 3 general areas where I found long established Cullen families:
    1. The first area is up the Clyde valley from Glasgow (Lanarkshire). By far the largest number was in the area called the Monklands, including the towns of Airdrie and Coatbridge. Although this area was industrialized, Cullens had a variety of occupations including farming, many trades, merchanting, indicating a long presence.
    There also were a small number of farming Cullen families in south Lanarkshire, near the towns of Carstairs and Carluke
    Glasgow itself had several established Cullen families, although not as many established families as the Monklands.
    2. The second area has just a few Cullen families. This is Aberdeenshire in the northeast. There were a couple Cullen farmers in Strathdon which is is in the highlands west of Aberdeen, and also in Keig about halfway to Strathdon. Then there were 5 Cullen families living in the Buchan region a few miles inland from Peterhead, in the towns/parishes of Longside, New Deer, Old Deer.
    3. In 1841 there were a very few established Cullen families in the Central Belt in what was then called Stirlingshire and Perthshire, roughly around Falkirk and Sterling (specifically Falkirk, Deanston, Drip Moss and Doune). By 1881 the native Cullen presence was much reduced and less connected to the land.


    That's it! In 1881 in all of Scotland I could only identify 75ish families where the Cullen male head of household was still living in the same civil parish where he was born. For comparison, there were 79 heads of household (male and female) named Cullen who were born in Ireland.

    Of course there were many more Scottish origin Cullen families in addition to these75. You can tell by their birthplace that they were born in Scotland, and they often had Scottish given names (Alexander, Adam, Archibald Gavin etc.) But they were not living in their home parish.


    Maybe I have omitted some important families? Please reply with any additions or corrections.

    Here's a summary of the 75 families in 1881 and their location:

    Aberdeenshire (7)--5 in Buchan (Longside, New Deer, Old Deer), 2 in Strathdon

    Dumbartonshire (2)--from Cardross--one physician, one farmer

    Lanarkshire
    (53)--Monklands--Coatbridge and Airdrie(20+), Glasgow(16+), Bothwell(4+), Motherwell(Dalziel) 5+, Carluke (4), Carstairs(2), and possibly some long-term families from Hamilton, Partick, Rutherglen and Stonehouse

    Perthshire (3)--Dunblaine, Kilmadock, Kincardine--1 farmer, 1 grocer, 1 laborer

    Renfrewshire (4)--Greenock West, Paisley(2), Pollockshows: all tradesmen

    Stirlingshire (4)--Labert, Bannockburn(2), Falkirk: 3 laborers or servants, 1 tradesman

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    Feb 2009 update--we now have located the Irish homeland of DNA project member C-42: his ancestor Joseph Cullen was born in 1870 in Loughgall in northern County Armagh. This is right in the middle of the large "Lough Neagh" cluster of Cullen, another member is C-37, whose ancestors are from Pomeroy, Co. Tyrone

    Both C-42 and C-37 belong to the "Northwest Irish" group called R-M222, which is associated with "Niall of the Nine Hostages". Perhaps these two members represent different families who took the Cullen name independently centuries ago, but there is some DNA evidence that indicates they are descended from a single Cullen ancestor. So for now, I am placing them both in our "Lough Neagh" lineage, but we need to test more Cullens from Armagh and Tyrone to confirm this.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------

    After about 2.5 years organizing the Cullen DNA project, we are starting to make some satisfying connections. This month we saw a match between one of our original members who is an Irish-American Cullen with roots in County Waterford, and an Irish Cullinan from Co. Waterford. This confirms an old family story that the name was changed to Cullen upon arrival in New York.

    Our other major Irish lineage so far identified is the Co. Wicklow line, which turns out to be related other Wicklow chieftans, like the Byrnes and Kavanaghs. Most Irish Cullen from other counties have heard of the Wicklow Cullens and wonder if they are connected to them--the answer so far is no!

    Here is an updated map showing our 14 members with a known origin in a specific village or parish in Ireland.

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  • 12/12/08--09:47: McCullen mystery


  • Apparently the name McCullen was once common throughout Ulster, but today is almost non-existent. Even at the time of Griffith's Valuation in 1860, there were McCullens in Clogher Civil Parish, home to my ancestors, but I found no trace of them in the civil records or census in later years.

    Where did the McCullens go? Did they die out, emigrate, or change their name to Cullen or something else? Were there ever Scottish McCullens? The answer seems to be no (see my posts on the Cullen surname in Scotland).

    Here is a map of the McCullen surname in Griffith's, and also one from telephone books in 2006. The only place that has stayed a stronghold is in/near Drogheda. If you compare this to the maps of the Cullen surname, it also doesn't seem as if the McCullens have changed their name to Cullen in most places: for example, in Griffith's there were many McCullen families in northeastern Cavan, southeastern Fermanagh, northwestern Monaghan, and today there are neither McCullen nor Cullen families there. Of course there has been a huge depopulation of rural Ireland in the past 150 years.

    Some notes about the maps:
    --in the Griffith's map, I include several McCullum families as red dots (mostly Antrim, also Armagh, Down, Monaghan, Derry). This may be a completely different family, but may be a mispelling of McCullen
    --McCullen had several variant spellings: McCullan, McCullin, McCullian, McCullion. Cullion and Cullian were common alternate spellings of Cullen in the North (including in my family). Maybe this reflects the pronunciation?
    --the Mac vs. Mc spelling is not really an issue, I have found no MacCullens (except 1 in the USA), and Griffith's recorded all names as Mc, which is just an abbreviation of Mac
    --for the 2006 map, I was able to search for every possible variant of the McCullen name in Northern Ireland, and I found only 4. Three were named McCullen, and one was named McCullins (this one in Newry, on the southern Down/Armagh border). For the Republic of Ireland, I only looked for McCullen.

    Finally, there are several other names found mainly in Ulster and Co. Louth that could be confused with Cullen and McCullen: McQuillan, McCallan, Killen and others.

    Are there any McCullens out there reading this?

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  • 02/08/09--20:27: McQuillan connection?



  • It looks like we have found a DNA connection between 3 McQuillans from Counties Monaghan and Fermanagh, a Cullen from an unknown location in Ireland, and a Collins in the US who believes he can trace back to a Callan family from Meath...and these seem to all be related to the McMahon family who were chiefs in the area...Many different surnames, but first some maps of the McQuillan surname in the mid 1800s and today (click on maps to enlarge, and be sure to compare these with the McCullen and Cullen maps below. If you need the names of the counties, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counties_of_ireland



    The maps are very similar (unlike the McCullen surname which essentially disappeared in the last 150 years). There has been a large increase in McQuillans in and around Ballymena in Co. Antrim, and in general I would say that McQuillan is found more in towns and suburbs than Cullen for example, but then Antrim, northern Armagh and Louth are have always been densely populated places. Another change is a decline of the surname in Fermanagh, and a shifting of the main cluster of the surname in Monaghan from the Clones area to an area more to the northeast.

    For the Griffith's data, there were many spellings but I think I caught all that contained "Quil", but didn't include on the map surnames like McQuillinan, McQuillcan. The BT phone book for Northern Ireland was easier to search than the Eircom for the Republic, and in the BT book I searched for all variants of Quillan and McQuillan but there were only two listings--one Quillan and one McQuillam. In the Eircom directory, I searched for McQuillan only. (note--I haven't mapped the phone listings for Dublin yet--hope to fix this soon)

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    Mark Cullen of Canada has created a great site with the history of his family who went from County Cavan, Ireland to Quebec: http://www.cullenancestry.ca

    In Mark's words: "
    John Cullen of Killinkere area and Elizabeth Carolan, daughter of Simon Carolan and Catherine Clarke of Doon, emigrated in 1826 to Bytown, Upper Canada and resettled to Templeton Township with their children Mary, Anthony, Michael, Bernard, Elizabeth, Catherine and John. They became important farmers and squared timber operators and leaders in church and community affairs and local politics."

    This is of interest beyond Mark's own family--many Irish first emigrated to Canada before moving to the US (and of course some stayed in Canada). And eastern Cavan was home to a large cluster of Cullens, as my maps below show.

    Mark has a comment submission form on his website.

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  • 05/22/09--16:02: Cullens in Chile
  • Here's a posting from Dr. Juan R. Cullen, MD, about his Cullen family who emigrated from Dublin to Chile, South America around 1908. Other members of the family ended up in Liverpool, England, and Louisiana USA.

    I don't want to post Juan's email address here without his permission, but you can leave comments here or email me (berniecullen@gmail.com) and I will forward them. Just be sure to leave an email address so we can contact you!

    Juan R. Cullen wrote:

    "I need any information about Robert Cullen (gr-grandfather), living second half of the 19th Century in Dublin (7 Greenville Terrace, South Circular Road). Robert was Assistant Curator Pathological Museum TCD (Trinity College Dublin). Married Catherine Delaney, and parents of Robert Cullen Delaney (my grandfather), who was born on February 17th., 1885. Robert Cullen Delaney emigrated to Argentina (first arriving to Sandy Point in Chile, and later settled in Rio Gallegos, Argentina) on board the ship Oriana, leaving Liverpool on December 16th., 1908. My grandfather had at least two brothers: Joe (Joseph), who emigrated to Louisiana, USA, around last years of the 19th. century, or most probably at begining 20th. century. I’ve no other details about his life. The other brother, Patrick, born about 1897, had to leave Ireland due to be pursued by the English army as it was an IRA member. He left Liverpool on 08 July 1920, at the age of 23 years, aboard the ship Orduna, and shelter with my grandfather in Rio Gallegos. Later he went to Louisiana to see the other brother, and finally return to the Republic of Ireland.

    My grandfather also had at least one sister who joined a religious order and remained until about twenty years ago in a convent in Liverpool. She is almost certainly already dead.

    My grandfather was married in Rio Gallegos with Lavinia Cox, daughter of an administrator of the coal mines in Chile, which had been recruited in Wales.

    Robert Cullen Delaney, my grandfather, married and with three children (two men and a girl, all between five and ten years old at that time) had to leave Argentina for health problems, and headed to California to settle there, but the ship that they moved made a landfall in Chile, and they decided to stay in this country.

    Any information regarding siblings of my grandfather and my great grandfather and other ancestors would be very grateful."

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    One of my contacts just informed me that the complete 1911 Census is now available and easily searchable at: http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/search/

    Be sure to click through to see the original handwritten census returns.

    The 1901 census will be made available within a year, hopefully. All earlier censuses for Ireland were destroyed, and later censuses have not yet been released for privacy reasons.

    My own great-grandfather had already emigrated to Chicago by 1911, but his sister and other relatives in Tullycorker, Tyrone appear in the census.

    In the coming weeks I hope to add some posts about Cullens in the 1911 census, about things like different spellings of Cullen, Protestant Cullens, and Irish speaking Cullens.

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  • 12/03/09--06:47: Tree of Y-DNA Haplogroup I2a


  • Besides the Cullen DNA Project, I'm also interested in my Y-chromosome haplogroup, which is a way of placing people into the grand family tree of all humanity. I drew up this tree to explain some of the new research on haplogroup I2a, and I'm placing it here so other people can easily see it. This tree is based on Ken Nordtvedt's Warped Founder tree at http://knordtvedt.home.bresnan.net/WarpedFounderTree.ppt

    My cousin in Ireland and I belong to I2a1-"Sardinian" which gets its name from the Italian island of Sardinia where it is most common (this is just a convenient label--our ancestors probably never lived in Sardinia--some distant "cousins" probably were among the first settlers of Sardinia thousands of years ago).

    No other Cullens are known to belong to any other group of I2a, all other Cullens tested so far are either R1b, I1, I2b1, or I2b2.

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    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:
    CULAN, CULLAN (66), CULLEEN, CULLEM, CULLENN, CULLAN, CULLENS (8 only), CULLEON, CULLION (96, mostly Donegal, some Tyrone), CULLLEN, CULLIM, CULLIN (82), CULLINS (10 only), CULLOM, CULLUM (15), CULLUMM, CULLON, CULHAM, CULHAN, CULLA (10), CULLAM, CULLANE (15), CULLANNE, CULLE, CULLEA, CULLEAN (10), CULLEANE, CULLEENY, CULLEHY, CULENEY, CULLER, CULLERY (10), CULLEW, CULLING, CULLINY, CULLIS, CULLNEY, CULLOHY, CULLOLY, CULLOO (17), CULLUANE, CULM, CULMEA, CULLINGNE, CULLMAN, CULLNEY, CULLOM, CULLON, CULLUM,

    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:
    McCULLEN (91), MacCULLEN (1), McCULL (17), McCULLION (12), McCULLAN (12), McCULLINS (11), McCULLIAN, McCULLIN, McCULLON, McCULLUM, McCULLAND, McCULLEM, MCULLIN

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

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    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.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/8394309.stm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crumlin_Road_Jail

    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 Ancestry.com 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 berniecullen@gmail.com

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  • 08/12/10--10:35: Updated Haplogroup I2a Tree



  • (Click on tree to enlarge it).

    For several years Ken Nordtvedt has been sorting Y-DNA haplogroup I into different groups based on patterns in STR marker values (these are the "37 markers" etc. reported by genealogical DNA testing companies like Family Tree DNA, SMGF, Ancestry.com). These patterns can be found in Ken's FounderHaps.xls Excel file at his website http://knordtvedt.home.bresnan.net/. If you don't use Excel, this website gives the patterns ("modals") in "Family Tree DNA order": http://dgmweb.net/genealogy/DNA/Hg-I-subclades-FTDNA-order.shtml

    (You can click on the links to go to the websites, and you can click on my tree to enlarge it).

    Although Ken was able to use his modals to distinguish several groups within haplogroup I2a, (he called the largest groups Dinaric, Sardinian, Isles and Western), most of these groups did not have a SNP to identify them. And without an SNP, many scientists, genealogy testing companies etc. did not accept these groups as proven.

    In 2009 and 2010, four members of the I2a project at FTDNA did a "Walk on the Y" to sequence a portion of their Y chromosomes and 6 new SNPs were discovered. Some of these seem to be equivalent to previously known SNPs (L158 and L159.1 are equivalent to M26, and L178 is equivalent to M423. The new L161 SNP confirms Ken's modals: his Isles group tests L161+ while his Dinaric and Disles groups (and all the rest of I2a) test L161-.

    But there are two new SNPs which showed us new things which weren't predicted by Ken: The new SNP called L233 separates Ken's old I2a*-Western group from I2a*-F and all the rest of I2a: Western and Western-Isles all test L233+, while I2a*-F and Dinaric, Sardinian, Isles and Disles all test L233-. This much was expected based on Ken's work. What wasn't expected was that a very small number people who he had placed in Western tested L233-. Closer inspection showed that they had slightly different 37 marker results from most Western, and a new group was found, which Ken called I2a*-Alpine because the few known members come from southwestern Germany, northeastern Italy, and Romania.

    On my latest I2a tree shown here I am including I2a*-Alpine for the first time. You can see a previous version of the tree here: http://cullengene.blogspot.com/2009/12/tree-of-y-dna-haplogroup-i2a.html at that time we had not tested enough supposed "Westerns" and hadn't learned of the "Alpine" group yet.

    The other very interesting new SNP discovered in the WTY is L160. Some of Ken's Sardinian group test L160+ and some test L160- and it can't be easily predicted from 37 or 67 markers. That is why I show the green I2a1a and I2a1a* triangles as overlapping, since their modals/marker values overlap a bit.
    ...........................................

    As of August 26, 2010 the ISOGG tree includes all SNPs shown here, and hopefully commercial DNA testing companies like Family Tree DNA and 23andMe will update their trees soon. You can see the most recent ISOGG tree at http://isogg.org/tree/ISOGG_HapgrpI.html , and the current offical FTDNA tree at http://www.familytreedna.com/snps-r-us.aspx, and the working draft tree of Dr. Thomas Krahn at FTDNA at http://ytree.ftdna.com/ (use the drop-down box at top to switch between his draft tree and the 2008 YCC tree which is the oldest tree of all of these).
    [this post edited August 27, 2010 to note that ISOGG has updated its tree, and to correct placement of L160 in my own tre--Bernie]

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  • 09/24/11--10:20: Tree of Haplogroup I-M26
  • (Click on tree to enlarge)

    This is a hasty phylogenetic tree I drew up showing the major groups of I-M26 (which has been known as I2a1 for the last 3 years or so). This is the group well-known for occurring in around 40% of men in Sardinia. But in the last three years we have discovered several new SNPs that split M26 into more specific groups which occur in different regions, all in westernmost Europe.

    The Sardinian M26 seems to be all L160+ which makes an out of Sardinia origin unlikely. Spain and France contain most of the major groups of M26 and I think our M26 ancestors started expanding from somewhere like southern France, up the Atlantic coast to northern France, Britain and Ireland, and probably up the Rhine to Western Germany and Switzerland. A very few M26 made it to Denmark, Norway and Sweden. The single M26 I know of from Iceland has a 37 marker STR haplotype similar to some Irish M26+ L160- people. There are also a very few M26+ people from Jewish families from Poland, Belarus and Odessa, I believe most of these probably go back to Sephardic (Spanish/Portuguese Jewish) roots, and in fact some of the families have a tradition that their paternal ancestors were Sephardic.

    Some specifics about the tree: the green triangles show the periods when population have been expanding, the L160+ triangle is the biggest because this group is most common. The dates when the expansions started and when the different groups split is very loosely based on Ken Nordtvedt's work but I didn't attempt to show his calculations very accurately. Not shown is M161 which was discovered before the year 2000 but has never been found in testing at Family Tree DNA or as far as I know at 23andMe. Also not shown is the Z106 SNP, this is a subset of L160+ which probably occurs in about 1/3 of Spanish L160+ and in a much smaller percentage of English and other northern L160+. The L277 SNP is placed in quotes because FTDNA has not been able to sequence the L277 area, our information on L277 comes mostly from 23andMe. Finally, there is yet another SNP called L707 which shows the same pattern so far as L672 and L673, we are currently testing all of these in the L277+ group.

    (Note: in the final line of the tree picture "happened in position A or B" should be "B or C")


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  • 10/22/11--06:59: L672 placed in I-M26 tree
  • Since my most recent post we have tested the new SNPs in many different I-M26 people from all the major subgroups. All were L673+ and L707+ so I think L673 and L707 are equivalent to M26. (It's possible that these SNPs and L158 and L159 are actually above M26, not equivalent. But the other major groups of I-P37.2 are ancestral (negative) for all these SNPs, there are a few small groups who have not tested all of them yet).


    L672 is more interesting, some I-M26 people are L672+ and some are L673- which introduces a new level in the tree. It turns out that all the people with YCAIIa,b=11,21 (or who are close matches to these people even if they have different values) are L672+. The people who are expected to test L277+ are L672-, and these people have YCAIIa,b=18,21 and are quite different in all their markers from the L672+ people. (L277 is placed in quotes because Family Tree DNA cannot make this test work for L277+ people, but we have results from 23andMe).



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