Killin History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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

Early Origins of the Killin family

The surname Killin 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 Killin family

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

Killin Spelling Variations

The general population of Ireland, like those of Europe and Britain during the Middle Ages, scribes recorded people's names as they saw fit. As a result, surnames often had many spelling variations. For Killin some of these variations included: Killeen, Killen, Killion, Killian, Killin, Gilin, Killan, Killoon, O'Killen, McKillen and many more.

Early Notables of the Killin family (pre 1700)

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


United States Killin migration to the United States +

The 18th and 19th centuries saw many Irish families immigrate to North America in search of land and opportunities. The largest influx of Irish immigrants to the United States and British North America came during the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine laid waste to their homeland. Hundreds of thousands left the island in an attempt to escape the starvation and disease it brought. Although the arrival of such a large number of destitute Irish was not welcomed by the established population in the United States and what would become known as Canada at the time, these Irish were an essential element to the rapid development of these growing industrial nations. They filled the demand for the cheap labor needed for the work in factories and in the construction of bridges, roads, canals, and railways. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has revealed many immigrants bearing the name of Killin or one of its variants:

Killin Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Mr. John Killin, British servant to Benjamin Cooper from Brampton, Suffolk departing May 1637 from England aboard the ship "Mary Ann" arriving in Boston, Massachusetts, United States on 20 June 1637, heading for Salem [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Killin (post 1700) +

  • Harold Roy Killin (b. 1929), Canadian-born English former professional footballer who played from 1947 to 1958
  • Tom Killin (b. 1950), Scottish three-time silver medalist Paralympian


  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. ^ Passengers of the Mary Anne of Yarmouth (Retrieved 18th November 2020). Retrieved from http://www.angelfire.com/mi4/polcrt/MaryAnne.html


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