Osullivan-beare / Family History
ancient family history was found in the irishsurnames.com archives.
Surnames developed a wide number of variants over the centuries. Many different spelling variations of the same name can be traced back to a single original root. Also, when a bearer of a name emigrated from Ireland it was not uncommon that their original name would be incorrectly transcribed in the record books upon arrival at their new location. Some names have dozens of spelling variations. Some Surnames were also altered over the years based on how they sounded phonetically, by their sound, and depending on the prevailing political conditions it may have been advantageous to change a name from one language to another. This was especially so in Ireland where most Gaelic names were 'anglicized' at some stage.
Variants of the name Sullivan
include O'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 prospered they spread into 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 the battle of 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 Sullivan
family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Sullivan