Kilian History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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

Early Origins of the Kilian family

The surname Kilian was 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, (c. 640-689) 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.

There are some scanty records of the family in Scotland, but they are rather late: "John Killan in Cleckaime, parish of Lesmahago, 1677, and Robert Killand in Deidwatters, parish of Lesmahago, 1678. This name in Irish is O'Cilleain, descendant of Cillean, a diminutive of Ceallach, an ancient and once very common name." [1]

Early History of the Kilian family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kilian research. Another 122 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1180, 1981, 1180 and 1172 are included under the topic Early Kilian History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kilian Spelling Variations

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 Kilian family name revealed numerous spelling variations, including Killeen, Killen, Killion, Killian, Killin, Gilin, Killan, Killoon, O'Killen, McKillen and many more.

Early Notables of the Kilian family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Kilian Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kilian Ranking

In the United States, the name Kilian is the 13,743rd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [2]

United States Kilian migration to the United States +

Many Irish families boarded ships bound for North America in the middle of 19th century to escape the conditions of poverty and racial discrimination . Although these immigrants often arrived in a destitute state, they went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. An inquiry into many immigration and passenger lists has revealed many early immigrants to North America bearing the Kilian family name:

Kilian Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Andreas Kilian, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1732 [3]
  • Caspar Kilian, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1749 [3]
  • Michael Kilian, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1749 [3]
  • Johann Philipp Kilian, who landed in America in 1782 [3]
  • Conrad Kilian, who arrived in New York, NY in 1782 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Kilian Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Charles Kilian, aged 25, who arrived in New York, NY in 1822 [3]
  • Peter Kilian, aged 32, who landed in Missouri in 1844 [3]
  • Henry Kilian, who landed in Baltimore, Maryland in 1852 [3]
  • Cathar Kilian, aged 22, who landed in New York in 1854 [3]
  • Johann Kilian, who arrived in Texas in 1854 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Kilian migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Kilian Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Johannes B. Kilian, aged 26, a carpenter, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Steinwarder" in 1864
  • Emily Kilian, aged 20, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Steinwarder" in 1864
  • Hendrina Aannie Kilian, aged 6 mths., who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Steinwarder" in 1864

Contemporary Notables of the name Kilian (post 1700) +

  • John Kilian (1811-1884), German-born, American Lutheran pastor and leader of the colony known as the Wends of Texas
  • Michael David Kilian (1939-2005), American journalist and author
  • André Kilian (b. 1987), German footballer who plays for FC Homburg
  • Kilian Hennessy (1907-2010), French businessman of Irish origin, patriarch of the Hennessy cognac company
  • Kilian Weimer (1904-1979), German highly decorated German Oberst in the Wehrmacht during World War II, recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves
  • Kilian von Steiner (1833-1903), German banker and industrialist
  • Kilian V. Lutz, American politician, Member of New Jersey State House of Assembly from Hudson County, 1901-02 [4]

  1. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  2. ^
  3. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 3) . Retrieved from on Facebook
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