History of Gilligan Funeral Homes

More than a Century of Service in Cincinnati

More than a century of Gilligan Funeral Homes tradition, spanning five generations, began in downtown Cincinnati in 1877. Patrick Gilligan came to America from County Sligo, Ireland, settling in Cincinnati in 1857. He began a livery business, which he developed into P. Gilligan and Sons Undertakers and Embalmers with the help of his sons, Andrew and John. The funeral home was one of the first in the area to offer embalming services. Patrick and Andrew died in 1905, leaving John J. Gilligan to operate the business with the help of his son, Harry J. Gilligan. As his business grew, John purchased the first motorized funeral coach to operate in Cincinnati. He eventually changed the name of the business to John J. Gilligan and Son in 1919. Following family tradition, Harry's three sons, Harry Jr., Frank and John (Jack) Gilligan continued the operation of the business. Harry Jr. and Frank have operated the firm until recently, while John left funeral service to become Governor of Ohio. Currently, Harry J. III and Peter J. Gilligan, sons of Harry J. Gilligan Jr., operate the funeral homes as fifth generation funeral directors. The company now boasts three locations, and continues to provide service to the greater Cincinnati area.