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O'collan Coat of Arms / O'collan Family Crest

This surname ranks among the hundred most common in Ireland. Most CULLEN families will descend from the sept O'Cuilinn which held Glencullen in the south of County Dublin on the border of County Wicklow whence some moved south in the late medieval period and established themselves in County Wexford where two townlands named Cullenstown commemorate their presence, one in the barony of Bargy and the other in the adjacent barony of Shelmalier West. Several hundred Cullen families now reside in Dublin while Wexford , Kildare and County Wicklow can count the largest number of the hundreds of Cullen families living in the rest of the country. When the sparse Irish population began to increase it became necessary to broaden the base of personal identification by moving from single names to a more definite nomenclature. The prefix MAC was given to the father's christian name, or O to that of a grandfather or even earlier ancestor.

The two main homes of the surname are Norfolk and Devon. In the former county the first known bearer of the name is recorded at Forncett St. Peter in 1404, as Ricardus Cullyng. A note in the parish register of Woodlands, Devon, records the death in 1509 of William Culling the ninth, which would take the line back to the late 13th century.

At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour.

The arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory.

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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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