A surname of Ireland (0) Sullivan, 0 Súileabháin, Ir. suil - eye, with last part of the name uncertain. (MacLysaght). The third most numerous name in Ireland, traced by MacLysaght especially in Cos. Cork and Kerry.



At Fermeuse: Fermeuse/Renews RC Marriages: January 25, 1838 - Joseph Sullivan, County Wexford m. Eliza Swayne, Stone Island, Capelin Bay. Witnesses: James Mulloy & Catherine Madden. Priest: Father J. Murphy.
At Caplin Bay: Voter's List for Caplin Bay: 1841, 1842, 1844, 1845, 1847, 1849, 1852, 1855, 1859 - Joseph Sullivan - Stone Island.
  Crown Land Grants to Joseph Sullivan: grant #959 - 1851; grant #1493 - 1858; grants #2655 & #2666 - 1868.
  Lovell's 1871 Directory: Sullivan Joseph, planter.
  St. John's newspaper - Evening Telegram - Dec 26, 1888 - Sullivan, Joseph, native of Wexford, died 20th at Caplin Bay aged 76, here 59 yrs.
  McAlpine's 1894-97 Directory: Laurence Sullivan, fisherman; John Sullivan, fisherman; Richard Sullivan, fisherman.
  McAlpine's 1898 Directory: Robert Sullivan, fisherman; Laurence Sullivan, fisherman; Richard Sullivan, fisherman; Martin Sullivan, fisherman.
  Voter's List for Caplin Bay - 1900: Lawrence Sullivan, Richard Sullivan, Robert Sullivan, Joseph Sullivan, Martin Sullivan.
Family History: The Sullivan family of Caplin Bay began in 1838 when Joseph (Joe) Sullivan, of Co. Wexford, Ireland, married Elizabeth (Eliza) Swain. Eliza was the eldest daughter of Robert Swain, one of the earliest Stone Island settlers. Joe and Eliza had two sons, Lawrence (Lar) and Robert (Bob), and a daughter Mary, all born at Stone Island in the 1840s. When they grew up and married, Lar and Bob moved about a mile west, farther up the north side of Caplin Bay, and built their homes in the area known today as Sullivan's Hill. Although a little farther away from the fishing grounds, this area gave the Sullivans extra space for expansion. It also offered more shelter than their old homestead on the wind-swept headland at Stone Island. The terrain, although still rocky, was more suitable for meadow-land and the planting of crops. Mary Sullivan married Michael Keough, son of Edward Keough, another Wexford man and an early settler of Stone Island. They lived at the head of Caplin Bay, where the second generation of Keoughs settled after leaving Stone Island.
  Lar and Bob Sullivan had only moderate families. However, as their sons grew to manhood, they pooled resources, which gave the Sullivans a sizeable share of the overall fishing industry at Caplin Bay/Calvert. Lar's sons, Martin, Joseph, and Richard, stayed at Caplin Bay while their brother, John, married and lived at Ferryland. Bob Sullivan had three sons, Michael, Joseph and Patrick. They all lived at Caplin Bay, but tragically, Michael, the eldest son, died of diphtheria while at the annual seal hunt in April 1897. By the first decade of the twentieth century, most sons from both branches had married. The Sullivan surname expanded quickly as Martin (of Lar) and Patrick and Joseph (of Robert) raised large families. Joseph (of Lar) had no sons, only two daughters. Later in the century, as their respective families grew, the Sullivans formed into two separate family groups to carry on the fishery. Martin and Joseph (of Lar) headed one of these crews, while Patrick and Joseph (of Bob) formed the second crew. The ability to earn a good living in the place where they were born kept most of their sons home, although a few eventually ventured forth to live elsewhere.
Present Status: The Sullivans are the largest family group at Calvert and probably the highest related concentration of the Sullivan surname in Newfoundland. The cod fishery has effectively been closed since 1992. Nonetheless, many of the Sullivan families have stayed at Calvert and continue to raise their families there. While the fishery is still ongoing, other species have now replaced the codfish as the primary resource. For one branch of the Sullivans, their pursuit of the fishery evolved into a large business venture called Ocean Choice International Inc. The Company offers fresh, frozen, or cured meats and fisheries serving customers worldwide. Like most rural Newfoundland families, the last two generations of Sullivans have increasingly sought alternate employment in other locations and professions. In addition to the many descendants at Calvert, there are many other descendants of Joe and Eliza Sullivan living in other areas of Newfoundland, the rest of Canada, the U.S.A., and other countries.
Local Place Names: Sullivan's Hill. This area on the north side of Caplin Bay was selected by the second generation of the Sullivans, as the site for their new homes when they moved from Stone Island.

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