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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Where did the Irish Killeen family come from? What is the Irish Killeen family crest and coat of arms? When did the Killeen family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Killeen family history?

The Irish surname Killeen originally appeared in Gaelic as O Cillin.


The scribes who created documents long before either the Gaelic or English language resembled their standardized versions of today recorded words as they sounded. Consequently, in the Middle Ages the names of many people were recorded under different spellings each time they were written down. Research on the Killeen family name revealed numerous spelling variations, including Killeen, Killen, Killion, Killian, Killin, Gilin, Killan, Killoon, O'Killen, McKillen and many more.

First found in County Mayo (Irish: Maigh Eo) located on the West coast of the Republic of Ireland in the province of Connacht, where they held territories was at Ballykilleen since early times. This lofty family were the ancient Chiefs of Fingal, Earls of Fingal and Lords Killeen. Saint Kilian, (also spelled Killian) from the Irish: Cillian, was an Irish missionary bishop and the apostle of Franconia. He was born in Mullagh, County Cavan, and is the patron saint of the parish of Tuosist, in County Kerry. Saint Kilian's feast day is July 8th and St. Kilian's Abbey, at Würzburg is named after him. Today there are two Killeen Castles in Ireland: one located at Dunsany, in County Meath, that dates back to about 1180, but today's structure is a restoration of the 19th century after a fire in 1981. It will include a luxury golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus. The second Killeen Castle is a 17th century castle at Killeen, in Castlegar, County Galway.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Killeen research. Another 243 words(17 lines of text) covering the years 1180, 1981, 1180 and 1172 are included under the topic Early Killeen History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Killeen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Suffering from poverty and racial discrimination, thousands of Irish families left the island in the 19th century for North America aboard cramped passenger ships. The early migrants became settlers of small tracts of land, and those that came later were often employed in the new cities or transitional work camps. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. Although the immigrants from this period were often maligned when they arrived in the United States, they provided the cheap labor that was necessary for the development of that country as an industrial power. Early immigration and passenger lists have revealed many immigrants bearing the name Killeen:

Killeen Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • James Killeen, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1847
  • Francis and John Killeen arrived in Philadelphia, PA between 1840 and 1860

Killeen Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Mary Killeen, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1828
  • Timothy Killeen, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1831
  • John Killeen, aged 6, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1834 aboard the schooner "Jane" from Galway
  • Thomas Killeen, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1834
  • Patrick Killeen arrived in Saint John aboard the ship "Mary" in 1838

Killeen Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Ellen Killeen, aged 24, a farm servant, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Emerald Isle"
  • Thomas Killeen, aged 22, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "David Malcolm"
  • Thomas Killeen, aged 20, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "David Malcolm"
  • Ralph Killeen, aged 39, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Europa"
  • Eliza Killeen, aged 19, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Lismoyne"

Killeen Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • James Killeen, aged 23, a carpenter, arrived in Hawkes Bay aboard the ship "Renfrewshire" in 1878
  • Mary Killeen, aged 24, a servant, arrived in Napier aboard the ship "Rakaia" in 1879


  • Frank P Killeen, American railroad executive after who the town of Killeen, Texas was named in 1881
  • Graham Killeen (b. 1980), American filmmaker and critic
  • Len Killeen (1938-2011), South African rugby league footballer
  • Neil Killeen (b. 1975), former English cricketer from Shotley Bridge, County Durham
  • Liam Killeen (b. 1982), English gold, silver and bronze medalist mountain biker
  • Lewis Keith Killeen (b. 1982), English professional footballer from Peterborough
  • Richard Killeen (b. 1946), New Zealand painter, sculptor and digital artist
  • Gretel Killeen (b. 1963), Australian television personality, host of Big Brother Australia (2001-2007)


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  1. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  2. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  3. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  5. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  6. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  7. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  8. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  9. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  10. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  11. ...

The Killeen Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Killeen Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 15 December 2014 at 08:10.

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