01/07/2022

O’Sullivan Family Tree

Elizabeth Amy Perry

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O’Sullivan
The Sullivans of south-west Ireland have a long history, it is suggested that the roots of the Sullivans can be found in the Celts of central Europe. The first part of the name derives from the word ‘suil’, which means eye. The surname is suggested to derive therefore from either one-eyed or hawk-eyed.

The exact date of the arrival of the Gaelic Celts in Ireland is unknown; however, all credible sources maintain that it occurred before the age of Alexander the Great (356-323 BC). The Sullivans are said to have arrived in Ireland from Iberia in the early first millenium.

O’Sullivan (Ó Súilleabháin, Súileabhánach) is an Irish Gaelic clan based most prominently in what is today County Cork and County Kerry. It is the third most numerous surname in Ireland – somewhat unhelpful for our purposes!. Due to emigration, it is also common in Australia, North America, Britain, and the rest of the world.

By the late 12th c the English Normans were battling with Sullivans and McCarthys in Tipperary, Cork and Kerry, driving the O’Sullivans into two cadet groups the O’Sullivan Beare’s settled in West Cork on the Beare Peninsula. These clans defeated the Normans in 1261 at the battle of Caisglin near Kilgarvan, just north of Kenmare and were victorious the following year. These two battles settled the boundaries between the Normans of north Kerry (the FitzGeralds) and the three Gaelic families of south Kerry and west Cork.

During the Elizabethan (QEI) wars, the English sacked the western counties of Ireland, defeating the Irish lords one by one, for example, Munster was sacked in 1580. The last independent ruler of the clan was Donal Cam O’Sullivan Beare, who was defeated in the Nine Years’ War of 1594–1603. Despite Spanish assistance they were heavily defeated in 1601.

Notable O’Sullivans include: Phillip O’Sullivan Beare (1590-1660), was a soldier in the Spanish army known more as a historian; Colonel John O’Sullivan (b. 1700) a companion to the ‘Young Pretender, who led the Irish Brigade at Culloden in 1745.

Note that the purple text indicates that these entries are used at the beginning of the other branches too. We managed to trace the Sullivans back only to GGF3:

Jane Alison (Allen) Denton – 1948
– Bristol, England
married 2 Nov 1968 Tyndale Baptist, Bristol
F – Ivanhoe Wilfred Allen 1919 – 1996
– Bath, Somerset
M – Violet Evelyn Eileen Stiles 1921-2012
– Chew Magna/Pensford, Somerset
married 5 Sep 1942 at Bristol
Jane Alison Allen (Denton)
GF – Walter Thomas Allen 1877-1930
– Bath, Somerset

GMElizabeth Amy Perry 1880-1967
– Bath, Somerset
married 10 Mar 1898 Bath Registery Office, Bath
William Charles Allen 1898-1917
Walter Reginald Allen 1902-1931
Leonard Alfred Allen 1903-1939
Percy Douglas Allen 1906-1964
Reginald Allen 1908-1975
Dennis Roy Allen 1910-1980
Dorothy Gertrude Mary Allen (Iles) 1913-2005
Phyllis Emily Allen (Eades) 1915-2009
Margaret Ruby Allen (Macfarlane) 1917-1994
F – Ivanhoe Wilfred Allen 1919-1996
GGF1 – Thomas Sullivan Perry 27 Feb 1864-
– Carrigaline District, Cork, Ireland
GGM1 – Mary Ellen O’Sullivan 1864-
– Derrycreeveen, Bere Island, Cork, Ireland
married ?

GMElizabeth Amy Perry 1880-1967
GGF2 – Cornelius O’Sullivan 1827-1899
– Bantry, Cork, Ireland
GGM2 – Agnes McFeely 1841-1914
– Ballinspittle, Cork, Ireland
marriage 13 June 1856 at Bantry, Cork, Ireland

John Stephen O’Sullivan 1857–
Agnes O’Sullivan 1858–1892
GGM1 – Mary Ellen O’Sullivan 1864-
Cornelius James O’Sullivan 1861–1932
Elizabeth O’Sullivan 1863–
Jane O’Sullivan 1864–
Michael Francis O’Sullivan 1867–1950
[m: Mary Ann O’Connor – three children inc. Cornelus Thomas 1896-1939]
Thomas James O’Sullivan 1869–1957
Anne O’Sullivan 1870–
Kathleen O’Sullivan 1873–
John Christopher O’Sullivan 1874–
GGF3 – John Sullivan Snr 1806-

GGM3 – Ellen Bohanne Rearden 1806-

married 1822
Catherine O’Sullivan 1824–
GGF2 – Cornelius O’Sullivan 1827-1899
Martha O’Sullivan 1829-
Ellen O’Sullivan 1832–

The Sullivans we are seeking are not from GGF1 – Thomas Sullivan Perry (1864-) (for his tree follows the Perrys) but instead the tree for his wife Mary Ellen O’Sullivan .

GGF1 – Thomas Sullivan Perry was born on 27 Feb 1864 in Carrigaline District, just to the south of Cork but his wife, the O’Sullivan of the partnership, GGM1 – Mary Ellen O’Sullivan 1859-1886, came from Derrycreeveen on Bere Island. This is some 140 kms to the west of Cork, and that’s a journey of two-and-a-half hours on today’s roads. Presumably they met up in Cork.

Their daugter Elizabeth Amy Perry 1880-1967 was born in Bath. Mary Ellen died in 1886, the place is stated as Wiltshire, but the outskirts of Bath were often designated as Wiltshire back then.

For the 1901 census, Thomas Perry is recorded as crew living aboard the 106-ton steamship, No 6 Ribble Hopper (112604), a Mud Hopper that worked with dredgers in the Ribble river. It operated from Preston Lancashire. See more on Elizabeth Amy Perry here – perhaps her spells in Shepton Mallet Jail might be better understood, losing her mother at six years old, with an absentee father in her late teens?


Cornelius O’Sullivan (Snr) 1828-1899 was born in Dunnen, Cork and served in the UK’s military from 1845-1854. He became Bantry Bay’s shoemaker.

He married Agnes McFeely 1841-1914 in Bantry in 1856. They had thirteen children:

John Stephen O’Sullivan 1857–no data on spouse or issue, there is a possible request for USA naturalisation, and a UK 1911 census return that are suggestive.
Agnes O’Sullivan 1858–1892
John McCarthy 1841-1903
married 1877
Catherine Katie McCarthy (1878–)
John Francis McCarthy (1879–1898)
Joseph Francis McCarthy (1879–1884)
Agnes Mary McCarthy (1880–1956)
Charles McCarthy (1882–)
Ellen Nellie McCarthy (1887–)
Patrick Joseph McCarthy (1888–1944)
Jane Frances Patricia McCarthy (1892–)
GGM1 – Mary Ellen O’Sullivan 1864-
GGF1 – Thomas Sullivan Perry 27 Feb 1864-
married?
GMElizabeth Amy Perry 1880-1967
Cornelius James O’Sullivan 1861–1932
Bridget Mary Byrne 1863- 1934
married 1903
James O’Sullivan (1887–1905)
John Joseph O’Sullivan (1890–1957)
Ellen O’Sullivan (1891–)
Dennis O’Sullivan (1898–1975)
Norah O’Sullivan (1901–1901)
Elizabeth O’Sullivan 1863–no data on spouse or issue
Jane O’Sullivan 1864–no data on spouse or issue
Michael Francis O’Sullivan 1867–1950
– see below
Mary Ann O’Connor 1865-1940
married 1893 Hackney London
Cornelius Thomas O’Sullivan 1896-1939
Kathleen M. O’Sullivan 1898-
Norah Theresa O’Sullivan 1905-1987
Thomas James O’Sullivan 1869–1957 – see below
Agnes Cecillia Hefferman 1868-1944
married 1901
Thomas became a tram driver in London
Mary Liguori ‘Maureen’ O’Sullivan (1902–1970)
Agnes Cecilia O’Sullivan (1903–1981)
Cornelius Christopher O’Sullivan (1909–1966)
Anne O’Sullivan 1870–no data on spouse or issue
Kathleen O’Sullivan 1873–1966
Owen Leonard Connellan 1876-1919
married 1904
– also lived in Leyton
Eileen Patricia Connellan (1906-1973)
John Christopher O’Sullivan 1874–no data on spouse or issue

Cornelius was subsequently appointed the town’s Postmaster with an annual salary of £110. Cornelius is listed in corkpastandpresent.ie as the postmaster in 1871.

The Post Office inspectors performed a spot-check of his operation and found his accounts ‘in disorder’, ‘a large amount of official correspondence had not been opened’ and he was fired for ‘mismanagement and neglect of duty’. He was sentenced in 1886 to 18 mths, served in Cork Jail.

Cork Jail

The shame of the conviction of Cornelius led the son of Cornelius, Michael Francis O’Sullivan 1867–1950, to supervise a move of he and his family to move to England in the 1890s – to Leyton Essex. Cornelius and Michael’s younger brother Thomas James O’Sullivan 1869–1957 followed him to Leyton. It is unclear if Agnes came with Cornelius, he died in 1899 in Leyon, she died in 1914 in Cathermore, Cork.


It was Michael that gives Jane her royal connections – Michael’s son Cornelius Thomas O’Sullivan 1896-1939 became a Bank Inspector. His daughter Mary Kathleen O’Sullivan 1934-2005, had her own daughter Sophie Helen Rhys-Jones – who became the Countess of Wessex, on marrying Prince Edward.


The parents of Cornelius, were GGF3 – John Sullivan Snr 1806- and GGM3 – Ellen Bohanne Rearden 1806-1890. They were married in 1822 at Bandon Cork, both just 16 years old.

They had four children:

Catherine O’Sullivan (1824–)no data on spouse or issue
Cornelius O’Sullivan (1828–1899)John Stephen O’Sullivan (1857–)
Agnes O’Sullivan (1858–1892)
GGM1 – Mary Ellen O’Sullivan (1859–1886)
Cornelius James O’Sullivan (1861–1932)
Elizabeth O’Sullivan (1863–)
Jane O’Sullivan (1864–)
Michael Francis O’Sullivan (1867–1950)
Thomas James O’Sullivan (1869–1957)
Anne O’Sullivan (1870–)
Kathleen O’Sullivan (1873–1966)
James Christopher O’Sullivan (1874–)
Martha O’Sullivan (1829–1917)no data on spouse or issue – may have died in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, USA
Ellen O’Sullivan (1832–)no data on spouse or issue

Forward to Stiles Family Tree – Back to Culliford Family Tree
Forward to Allens, Perrys, O’Sullivans, Cranes, Hilliers, Pennys
Back to Jane’s Family Tree Introduction

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