Show ContentsKillion History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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

Early Origins of the Killion family

The surname Killion 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 Killion family

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

Killion 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 Killion 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 Killion family

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

Killion Ranking

In the United States, the name Killion is the 5,538th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [2]

United States Killion 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 Killion family name:

Killion Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • George Killion, who arrived in Mississippi in 1798 [3]
Killion Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Killion, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1860 [3]

Australia Killion migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Killion Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Honora Killion, aged 19, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "James Fernie" [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Killion (post 1700) +

  • T. W. Killion, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Iowa, 1928 [5]
  • Rich Killion, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from New Hampshire, 2008 [5]
  • J. W. Killion, American politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Iowa 8th District, 1920 [5]
  • George L. Killion, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from California, 1956, 1960, 1964 [5]
  • Bernard J. Killion, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Massachusetts, 1944, 1948 [5]

  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. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  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. South Australian Register Friday 17th November 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) James Fernie 1854. Retrieved
  5. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 6) . Retrieved from on Facebook