Sullivan Family History

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Sullivan Name Meaning

Irish: reduced form of O’Sullivan, an Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Súileabháin ‘descendant of Súileabhán’, a personal name composed of the elements súil ‘eye’ + dubh ‘black’, ‘dark’ + the diminutive suffix -án.

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press

Similar surnames: Hallinan, Gallivan, O'sullivan, Cullinan, Galligan, Culligan

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Sullivan Ethnicity Estimate

What are the common regions with the Sullivan name?

These results combine data from everyone in the AncestryDNA® database with the last name Sullivan. The Ancestry® ethnicity regions shown are top five most common on average for these people.

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  • England & Wales


  • Ireland & Scotland


  • Germanic Europe


  • Eastern Europe & Russia


  • France


Your own DNA-based ethnicity estimate will differ from what you see here. To get your personalized ethnicity estimate, order an AncestryDNA® kit.order an AncestryDNA® kit.

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Sullivan Family Origin

Where is the Sullivan family from?

Sullivan Family Occupations

What did your Sullivan ancestors do for a living?

In 1880, a less common occupation for the Sullivan family was Keeps House. The most common Sullivan occupation in the USA was Laborer. 21% of Sullivan's were Laborers. Laborer, Farmer and Keeping House were the top 3 reported jobs worked by Sullivan.

View Census data for Sullivan | Data not to scale

  • Laborer

  • Farmer

  • Keeping House

  • Keeps House


Census records can tell you a lot of little known facts about your Sullivan ancestors, such as occupation. Occupation can tell you about your ancestor's social and economic status.

Sullivan Historical Records

What Sullivan family records will you find?

Census Record

There are 1 million census records available for the last name Sullivan. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Sullivan census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search 1940's US census records for Sullivan

Passenger List

There are 303,000 immigration records available for the last name Sullivan. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the USA, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

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Draft Card

There are 288,000 military records available for the last name Sullivan. For the veterans among your Sullivan ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Sullivan military records

You've only scratched the surface of Sullivan family history.

Sullivan Life Expectancy

What is the average Sullivan lifespan?

Between 1940 and 2004, in the United States, Sullivan life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1943, and highest in 2003. The average life expectancy for Sullivan in 1940 was 45, and 74 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Sullivan

An unusually short lifespan might indicate that your Sullivan ancestors lived in harsh conditions. A short lifespan might also indicate health problems that were once prevalent in your family. The SSDI is a searchable database of more than 70 million names. You can find birthdates, death dates, addresses and more.

Famous Sullivan Family Ancestors

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