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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016


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

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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, 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.

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.


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

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

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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

Killion Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • James Killion, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1860

Killion Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Honora Killion, aged 19, a domestic servant, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "James Fernie"

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


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  1. 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.
  2. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  3. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  4. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  5. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  6. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  7. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  8. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  9. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  10. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  11. ...

The Killion Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Killion 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 6 October 2015 at 10:56.

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