Are you studying your "Killion" or "Killian" ancestors? Great!
Our name usually denotes either Irish or German descent. The path you'll take depends on whether your ancestors were Irish or German:
Are you just starting your own research? Here is "Kev's Genealogy 101", a write-up giving tips and hints that have worked in my own research. I hope they are helpful to you, too!
Are you of IRISH descent? ...well, STAY RIGHT HERE!
You've come to the right place!!! This page collects ancient, historical and modern references on the Irish Killion/Killian surname.
Are you of GERMAN descent?
Do you have a long history in the UNITED STATES, but don't know where the story starts before that?
Or you aren't sure where your ancestors came from?
...then you may wish to go to these locations:
- James Green hosts a very extensive website on Killian and Killion genealogy specializing in research in the United States, and also in German ancestors.
- Try this website on Andreas Killian, a German immigrant who is the ancestor of many U.S. Killians.
- There is an extensive, searchable database of Killians and Killions, maintained by George W. Killian. Some 50,000 names are said to be on this database, most involving descendents of Andreas Killian.
- Ancestry discussion forum on "Killion"
- Ancestry discussion forum on "Killian"
- There is a lively e-mailing list for persons doing research on German and U.S. Killi*n's. It's all free of course, and noncommericial, and very interesting. To get on the mailing list, send an e-mail message to KILLIAN-L-Request@RootsWeb.Com and in the body of the message include the single word "subscribe" (without quotes).
I'd welcome any contributions you'd care to offer, or to provide links that may be appropriate.
-- Kevin Killion
- Origin of the Name
- Is Spelling Significant?
- Where in Ireland?
- National Archives of Ireland
- The Famine Era
- Searching for Ancestors (researchers looking for ancestors)
- Miscellany on Irish Killi*ns
- Searching for Relatives (researchers looking for each other)
- Sources on Killions in the U.S.
- Other Irish Killi*n's Today
- Other Good Sources for Info
- St. Kilian
Two of the classic sources of information on Irish surnames are the books by Rev. Patrick Woulfe and by Edward MacLysaght.
Rev. Patrick Woulfe's book was Irish Names and Surnames, written in 1923. Here's what Woulfe says about our name:In his book More Irish Families, Edward MacLysaght equates the names Killeen and Killian, and gives their origin as the Irish form Ó Cillín. Here's the complete listing (with bolding added for emphasis):
- O Killane, Killane, Killan, Killian, Killion; 'descendant of Cillean' (diminutive of Ceallac); a var. in Clare and Galway of Ó Cillín, q.v.
- O Killine, O Killen, Killeen, Killen, Killian, Killion; 'descendant. of Cillín' (a 'pet' diminutive of Ceallac, war); the name of several distinct families in different parts of the country, as Clare, Galway, Mayo, Westmeath, Offaly, Kildare and Down, in all of which it is still extent.
(O) KILLEEN, Killian
Ó Cillín, anglicized Killeen, usually without the prefix O, belongs both by historical association and by present day location to the west of Ireland, being found in the three Atlantic seaboard counties, Clare, Galway and Mayo. In successive centuries - 1143 (Four Masters), 1585 (Composition Book of Connacht), 1655 (Book of Survey and Distribution - Killeens are recorded as residing at or near Ballykileen which is in the parish of Annagh, Co. Mayo, while more than a century later in 1783 the Galway Wardenship Mss. record Killeens as resident at Ballinrobe in the same county. The surname first occurs as early as A.D. 964 in the person of Cormac O'Killeen, Bishop of Clonmacnois; in 1106 his namesake was archdeacon of that diocese; in 1026 Conell O'Cilline is recorded as succesor of Cronan of Tuamgraney, Co. Clare.
Some families which crossed the Shannon and settled in Co. Westmeath use the form Killian. Woulfe is usually reliable and accurate but I think he might be mistaken in equating Killen with Killeen. Killen is probably simply MacKillen without the prefix. Both these belong chiefly to Antrim, the Irish form being MacCoilín or MacCailin, a galloglass family brought from Scotland by the O'Donnells in the fifteenth century. It is true that the enumerators recorded O'Killin as one of the more numerous Irish names in Co. Down in 1659, but they frequently confused the prefixes O and Mac and it is more probable that the family so described were really MacKillens. In north-east Ulster MacKillen may be confused with MacQuillan (see Irish Families, p. 250).
There were several mediaeval ecclaisiastical dignitaries in Connacht called O'Killeen. In our own time Dr. John Killeen, Bishop of Port Augusta (now Port Pirie), is remembered for his help in combating the "Black & Tan" campaign. Two Belfast men, Rev. Thomas Young Killen (1826-1886) and Rev. William Dore Killen (1806-1902) were notable as leading Presbyterians; also from Co. Antrim was James Bryce Killen (1845-1916), the Fenian and cofounder with Michael Davitt of the Land League; another Fenian was the New York lawyer Dorian Killian; and going back to an earlier insurrection there was John Killen, who was most unjustly hanged in 1803 for his alleged complicity in Robert Emmet's attempt.
Today, we take great pride in our names and we take pains to make sure that they are spelled "correctly". Genealogy does not allow such precision. For all practical purposes, Killion, Killian, Kilian and related variations should be taken as indistinguishable.
For poor farmers in 19th century Ireland and earlier, illiteracy was commonplace, and English (and thus Anglicized spellings) was often a second language, after Irish. Church and civil records were often posted by the priest or registrar pretty much as he heard them. Even for successive births within the same family, the surname may be entered in records in several different spellings. Upon immigration into the United States, many of our ancestors also had their names revised in the process, through accident or through intent of either the immigrant or immigration officers.
Thus, don't be surprised if your Killion ancestors turn out to be Killians, or vice versa!
The Killion/Killian name (and other similar variations) is not a terribly common one in Ireland. From the point of view of genealogy, that's extremely convenient. It makes it possible to focus research attention on a smaller area.
The most common 19th century locations for our name are the midland counties of Roscommon, Westmeath, Longford and Offaly (roughly in that order), and also Galway and Mayo.
Griffith's Primary Valuation for Co. Mayo found 3 householders named Killion, but no Killian's. (There was one Killen, and 69 Killeen's.)
The name "Killen" is also found in counties Donegal, Antrim, Down, Kildare and Tyrone.
This map shows the mid-19th century distribution of the Killi*n name in Co. Roscommon, which appears to be the county where our name was most prevalent.
Click to see a full-size view, and then use your browser's Back button to get back here.
The National Archives of Ireland provides a search page leading to information primarily on convictions leading to a sentence of transportation to Australia. Here are Killion/Killian entries:
Place of imprisonment: Co. Roscommon
Proceeding: Convict appealing his death sentence
Date: August 29, 1820
Document reference: PPC 1462 **
This filing is on behalf of three men, including a Thomas Killian, all from the parish of Moore, at the southern tip of Co. Roscommon. The three had been sentenced to death, and were imprisoned in Roscommon Gaol. The petition asks for an extension of a period of clemency, and includes character testimonials from a number of other men of the town. There does not appear to be any information as to whether any relief was granted.
James Killion (or Killian), age 42
Family: "Convict has a wife and nine children (eldest aged 12 years)"
Crime: Cow stealing
Trial: Co. Westmeath, Feb 24, 1840
Sentence: Transportation, 10 years
Document reference: TR 3 P 182 **
James Killian was a prisoner in the Mulligar Gaol sentenced to 10 years transportation. On April 24, 1840, he wrote,
"To his Excellency, the Right Honorable Earl Forescue, Lord Lieutenant General and General Governor of Ireland.A month later, on May 13, 1840, James Killian writes again:
"...that your petitioner was tryed at the last assizes held at Mullingar before the right Honorable the Lord Chief Justice Doherty on a charge of having in my possession a cow and a calf at the fair of Neas* that was stolen of the lands of Robinstown*. But as remarked to his Lordship at my trial poverty left me unable to bring evidence from Neas that I am certain would acquit me. ...
"... afflicted wife and nine children, the eldest in the 12th year of her age, solely dependent on [my] industry for the means of support and future prospects."
"... your petitioner has a wife and nine small children seven whom are unable to make any support for themselves and four of them females all depending on your petitioner's industry and scanty earnings heretofore all whom will be ruined during this hard season if your Excellency is not pleased take your petitioner into your favorable consideration and order that your petitioner sentense be mitigated.This document has no further information on what became of James Killian, or if he was transported.
"Your petitioner being reduced to a low station in life was not able to bring evidence from Naas..."
Most likely, "Naas" (pronounced Nace) is the town in Co. Kildare. There is a large area in Naas called Fairgreen that would be a likely place for the fair to have been. We could find no place named "Robinstown" near Naas, but there is a Robinstown in Co. Meath, and Mullingar is nearest big town. So, perhaps we can guess that James Killian was from the Westmeath or Meath area, and was accused of stealing the cow from that area and taking it to Naas to the fair.
The multi-volume "Famine Immigrants" collects passenger lists from ships that sailed during the Famine years. Here are Killion's that are listed on those sailings. (Apologies to any Killians reading this; when I copied this some time ago I only recorded the "-ion" entries.) Of course, be aware that sources like this cannot be considered flawless, perfectly accurate or complete.
Ship Arrived From Passenger Age Sex Occupation Marmion 18 May 1847 Liverpool Bernard Killion 25 M Laborer Michael Killion 20 M Laborer Liverpool 4 Nov 1848 Liverpool John Killion 22 M Farmer John Killion 24 M Farmer Charlotte 16 Dec 1848 Liverpool Patt Killion 11 M Laborer Biddy Killion 12 F "unknown" Biddy Killion 17 F "unknown" Ambassadress 23 May 1849 Liverpool Pat Killion 20 M Laborer St. Patrick 24 May 1849 Liverpool Patt Killion 25 M Laborer Michael Killion 22 M Blacksmith William Killion 25 M Blacksmith Yorkshire 2 Oct 1850 Liverpool Edward Killion 30 M Servent
The Illustrated London News of January 19, 1850 carried this story, written by a journalist traveling in Co. Galway:
"At Carihaken the levellers have been at work, and tumbled down eighteen houses. In one of them dwelt John Killian, who stood by me while I made the accompanying sketch of the remains of his dwelling. He told me that he and his fathers before him had owned this now ruined cabin for ages, and that he had paid £4 a year for four acres of ground. He owed no rent: before it was due, the landlord's drivers cut down his crops, carried them off, gave him no account of the proceeds, and then tumbled his house. The hut made against the end wall of a former habitation was not likely to remain, as a decree had gone forth entirely to clear the place. The old man also told me that his son having cut down, on the spot that was once his own garden, a few sticks to make him a shelter, was taken up, prosecuted, and sentenced to two month's confinement for destroying trees and making waste of the property."
This section includes details about Killi*ns in Ireland identified as ancestors by present-day researchers. If your Killi*n ancestor came from Ireland, I'd love to add your info to this section!
Barnacullen townland, Rahara parish, Co. Roscommon
m. Mary Naughten (from Kiltoom parish) about 1845
- Michael (b. 1857, emigrated to Chicago)
- Thomas (emigrated to Chicago and then Washington State)
- Delia (m. Michael McGovern and settled in Chicago)
- Mary (m. Patrick Seery in Ireland, emigrated with 5 children to Chicago)
- possibly also John and CatherineFor more information, write to Kevin Killion
I am researching descendants of Maurice Killian (1810-1895), who brought his family from Ireland to Cattaraugus Co, NY in 1848. His wife was Bridget (Flood) Killian and their children were Patrick, Margaret, Catherine, Christopher, Bridget, Mary and Daniel.For more information, write to Quentin Cabell Smith, Arlington, VA
Searching for Joseph M. Killian, Born 1845 in Boston. Parents were John M. Killian and Delia S. Churchill. Also had a brother, Edwin or Edward S. Killian, born 1854, died in Michigan in 1874. May have brothers Thomas F. and Richard A.For more information, write to Mary Kay Killian
THOMAS KILLIN born in or near the market town of Mullingar in the parish of Mullingar around 1787. He was enlisted in the South Cork Militia on 21st February 1809 by Commanding Officer Hayes St. Leger but he volunteered to join the 43rd Regiment of Foot, 2nd Battalion, on 10th May 1809 in Killarney, Co. Kerry. He fought in Spain in the Peninsular Wars and retired to a pension in 1824. He married ELIZABETH NOON from Roscommon and they moved to Congleton Cheshire (where first son James was born), and then to Coventry in Warwickshire. He was a silk weaver by profession. Thomas may have had a brother called William, whose son John was born in Dublin around 1819.
In his pension records from the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, his name is given as THOMAS KILLEN (although his signature appears to be Killin) and he appears in Muster Rolls under a variety of spellings, such as Killings, etc. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org.For more information, write to Suzanne
Patrick Killion born 1850 (Turrock towland) to Thomas Killion and Mary Lawlor. Patrick may have had a sister Margaret born in 1852. Patrick married Bridgit Mulligan from Carrowntarrif in 1879 in Dysart Parrish in Turrock. They had a son Thomas that was born in 1880 born in Townlad of Turrock.For more information, write to Hank Killion
Thomas Killian: farmer from County Mayo
Wife: Winifred Killian
Daughter: Kathryn Killian (b April 6, 1878)
Kathryn immigrated to Moorestown, N.J and married William Smith II in June 1898
For more information, write to email@example.com
Son: Michael Killion
born in parish Moore, Co. Roscommon
married Bridget Conathan (Connerton), January 30, 1845, Roxbury, MA
died December 27, 1886, Weymouth, MA
Information is from Bill Curtin
Patrick Killion & Elizabeth Davis
born in Roscommon, on October 16, 1884
immigrated to US, ca 1907
married Patrick Fitzgerald, from Co. Limerick
lived in Jersey City, New Jersey
died Oct. 19,1953For more information, write to Mary Jo Solomon (email address updates, October 2011)
John Quinn & Mary Killian
County and parish unknown
- Bridget (b. Ireland 1852, emigrated to Worcester, MA, married Thomas Sharry on 2 Jun 1874)For more information, write to Carol Miner
b. 1788, d. 1874
m. Anna Kelly
Son: Patrick Killion
m. Mary Finnernan
Son: Matthew Killion
b. abt 1830, Turrock townland, parish of Dysart, Co. Roscommon
1st m. Catherine Glennon
2nd m. Brigid Collins
Mary Killian McCaffery
Married to John McCaffery of Ireland
Son: Patrick McCaffery, Sr., came to the U.S. circa 1875
For more information, write to
Joseph John Killion, aka Jake Kilrain
Jake Kilrain, famous boxer, fought 75 rounds with John L. Sullivan in 1889. He was born Joseph John Killion in Greenport, Columbia Co. NY on Feb 9, 1859. He died Dec 22, 1937 in Quincy, Mass. His death certificate states that he married Elizabeth M. Hoar, and that his father's name was John. M. Killian, born in Ireland.
For more information, write to Tracy Reinhardt, Tom Glassel, or Susan Kilrain
Michael KILLIAN (also spelled Killion)
married to Catherine, born Oct. 1823 in Ireland, emigrated in 1843 to US
As of 1900, Catherine was a widow, mother of 5 children, 4 still living
Daughter Susan KILLIAN (born Feb 1848, Rhode Island) married William BERGIN or BERGEN (born May 1842, Ireland) circa 1872 and they had 7 children:
Ellen, born July 1874 Rhode Island
Katherine, born Sept. 1876, Rhode Island
Elizabeth, born August 1979, Rhode Island
Susan, born December 1881, Rhode Island
William, born October 1884, Rhode Island
Martin, born November 1888, Rhode Island
Robert, born July 1891, Rhode Island
For more information, write to Molly NiDana
Thomas Bernard Killion
born 1855 in County Roscommon, near Athlone
For more information, write to EMole47@aol.com
Stephen Killeen (also used spelling "Killian")
Married in 1833 to Cecily (or Sisly) Flynn
Parish of Killalaghton, Diosese of Clonfent, Co. Galway
Children, all baptised at Parish of Cappatagle, Co. Galway:
Thomas bap./12-5-1833Emigrated C. 1857-59
Matthew James bap./7-5-1847
For more information, write to Sheila Burke or go to her website
m Mary Murphy
The sons emigrated to U S about 1878
- Michael Killeen
b 18 Jun 1863 Co Clare
d 09 Mar 1955 Helena, Montana
m 1894 Neihart, Montana Prudence FICKES
- Patrick Killeen
b 12 Jul abt 1866 Claremorris, Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo
d 26 Jul 1922 Neihart, Montana
m 1896 Great Falls, Montana Anna Catharine DORAN
For more information, write to Kay Ball
Place: Inchenagh (or "Inchaughban"?), an island in the River Shannon, Rathcline parish, Co. Longford
m. Mary Hanly from Co. Roscommon
For more information, write to Lynn KennedyMary Killian Madden
b. 1860, Newtoncashel, Elfeet, Parish of Rathcline, County Longford
d. Feb 1954
For more information, write to Lynn Kennedy
b.1806 Athlone Ireland
Sentenced to Life (Transportation, 10 years) for 'assaulting the habitation', March 1, 1833.
married to Jane Feeny (b.1832 Wicklow Ireland)
d.1864 Port Macquarie Australia
For more information, write to Daniel Burke
William Kellion (son of Francis K. and Mary Thompson)
b.circa 1812 Athlone Ireland
Schooled in Dublin
Married Elizabeth Ramsay
d.1882 Kempsey Australia
For more information, write to Daniel Burke
William Claffey and Catherine Killion, King's County (Co. Offaly)
Son: Kieran Claffey
married 1861 to Margaret Curley of Co. Roscommon in Dedham, MA
For more information, write to Brent Claffey
Patrick Killeen (or Killen)
b. ca. 1829 in Sligo or Castlebar
possible brothers: Thomas, married to Margaret Hart; John maried to Anne McCoy
married in 1856 at Durham England to Winifred Gray, b. ca. 1833 in Sligo
For more information, write to Peter Killen or visit his website
Send your info to be added to this list!
This section is to record extra notes about references to Killions and Killians from Ireland.
Kate KILLIAN, born c 1851 Ireland, husband James Flynn
Source: "Virginians and West Virginians 1607-1870", an index to "History of West Virginia, Old and New, and West Virginia Biography, published by The American Historical Society, Inc., Chicago and New York 1923. Also, "more info in Vol. 2, page 143", but I don't have that reference.
Roscommon Workhouse DeathsThe Roscommon Family History Society provides a listing: "The following information is from the Roscommon town workhouse and lists the deaths of the inmates that took place from the mid 1800's to the end of the century." Two Killi*ns are listed:
Date of Death Surname Christian Name Age 1887-10-10 Killian Henry 72 1894-06-01 Killion John 21
This section lists present-day descendents of Irish Killi*n's, and the researchers who are hoping to find them:
Ronald Killion, Daniel Killion, Rita Killion
Children of Edward (b. 27 Oct 1904, Chicago) and Mildred Killion of Chicago
Edward Killion was the son of Michael Killion of Co. Roscommon
Searching: Kevin Killion
Patricia Smith Gorman (Syosset, NY), Mary Smith Quinn, Katherine Smith and John Smith
Children of Philip Smith and Margaret Seery of Chicago
Margaret Seery was the daughter of Patrick Seery and Mary Killion of Co. Roscommon
Searching: Kevin Killion
Send your info to be added to this list!
From a website of "Foreign-Born Voters of California, 1872", here are all the Killion/Killian/etc entries:
Kilian, Frederick......46 in 1866......born in Germany......29887 Kilian, Rudolph......31 in 1870......born in Prussia......29888 Killan, John......27 in 1868......born in Ireland......29891 Killan, Michael......40 in 1867......born in Ireland......29892 Killeen, Dennis......22 in 1868......born in Ireland......29895 Killeen, Edward......28 in 1871......born in Ireland......29896 Killeen, James......42 in 1871......born in Ireland......29897 Killeen, Thomas......28 in 1867......born in Ireland......29898 Killen, Hugh......42 in 1872......born in Ireland......29899 Killian, James......30 in 1871......born in Ireland......29905 Killian, Thomas......25 in 1868......born in Ireland......29906 Killien, James......49 in 1867......born in Ireland......29907 Killien, John......22 in 1868......born in Ireland......29908 Killien, John Jackson......35 in 1868......born in Ireland......29909 Killin, Matthew......42 in 1871......born in Ireland......29913 Killion, Frank......30 in 1871......born in Ireland......29914 Killion, Luke......22 in 1870......born in Ireland......29915 Killion, Michael......25 in 1866......born in Ireland......29916Click on that website shown above for more info.
James Greene runs an extensive website on Killians and Killions in the U.S. and those descended from German ancestors.
Killian's Irish Red Ale
Some webpages devoted to this fine brew:
- Official Killian's Red Ale website of Coors Brewing. Here's part of what they say about this beer: "Traditional lager with an authentic Irish heritage, based on the Killian family's recipe created more than 135 years ago in Enniscorthy, Ireland."
- Coors offers some Killians logo for sale on their website.
- As much as one could reasonably want to know about Killian's Irish Red.
- A history of Killian's Irish Red
- About two dozen pictures involving Killian's Red Irish. Yikes!
- Yet another tribute page to GKRIA.
- A review.
- Molecular Expressions: The Beershots Photo Gallery - George Killian's Irish Red Lager: This page illustrates how crystallites of the beer George Killian's Irish Red Lager appear under a polarized light microscope.
- Buy a neon sign of the Killian's horsehead logo
- Killian Cemetery, DeKalb Co., AL
- Killian Mill (residential area), DeKalb Co., AL
- Killen, AL (founded by James Killen in 1818, in Lauderdale County)
- Killian Creek (waterway), Dillingham Co., AK
- Killian Cemetery, Yell Co., AR
- Killion Street, Encino, CA
- Killion Street, North Hollywood, CA 91601
- Killion Street, Sherman Oaks, CA
- Killion Street, Woodland Hills, CA 91367
- Killian Ave., Trumbull, CT (Thanks to Tim Killian!)
- Miami Killian Senior High School, Miami, FL
- Killian Drive, Pinecrest, FL: named for Dan Killian, a businessman in the Kendall Area from the 1920s to 1950s. He served as a Dade County Commissioner, 1922 to 1926
- Killian Road, northeastern Gaston County, NC
- Killian Farm Road, Lincoln County, NC
- Killian Court, Winnetka, IL
- St. Kilian Church and School, Chicago, IL
- Killion Road, Lilly, Illinois
- Killion Cemetery, Parke County, IN
- Killion Avenue, Seymour, IN
- Killian Pines Church, Dade Co., FL
- Miami Killian Senior High School, Dade Co., FL
- Killian Hill Church and School, Gwinnett Co., GA
- Killian Cemetery, Knox Co., KY
- Killian, LA (named for George Killian, b. 1740, son of German immigrant Andreas Killian)
- St. Kilian, MN
- Killian's Creek in Catawba County, NC
- Killian, SC ("Just a few miles north of Columbia in Richland County on SC Highway 555 east of I-77")
- Kilian Community College, Sioux Falls, SD (first president was Dr. Thomas Kilian). "At Kilian Community College we know you by name, and we like it that way!"
- Killeen, TX
- Killian Canyon, UT
- Killian Street, Sammamish, WA
- Killion Road and Killion Field, Yelm, WA
- J. J. Killeen's Pub, : I had to add this to the page if only because this sounds like one fun place! Try clicking on some of the pictures, and imagine having a pint with some of these folks! Peggy McLaughlin told us about it: "You might want to add Killeen's Village Tavern, Shannonbridge , Co. Offaly to your list of Irish places related to the Killeens. I believe the Killeen family who run the pub were born in Moore, Co. Roscommon (Shannonbridge is just across the Shannon River from Moore)."
- St. Killian's Specialist School
- St. Kilian's German School
Many Killion's are from County Roscommon, so the Leitrim-Roscommon Home Page can be a very valuable source of information. That website carries surnames being researched, lists of townlands, and maps of parishes, baronies and poor law unions. If your ancestors were from either of these two counties, this is a must-see location!
Death records for many Americans is available in the government's Social Security Death Index. Ancestry, Inc., provides this online at their website.
St. Kilian was an Irish missionary of the 7th century. Today he is best remembered in Germany, where there are many churches and places named for him. So, there may well be some ancient shared heritage between the Irish Killi*ns and German Killi*ns!
In Würzburg there is a very nice old bridge across the river Main (pronounced "mine") on which there are twelve statues from different saints. Of course Kilian - as the city-saint - has a good place there. A large view is also available. This modern statue of St. Kilian is beneath the Kilian Dom (church) in Würzburg. St. Kilian is seen portrayed standing in a boat in his journey from Ireland. The ship can also be interpreted as a symbol for the church. A large view is also available.(These photos and explanations were sent by Ton Killian of Holland. Thanks, Ton!)
There is an interesting website devoted to St. Kilian (and his hometown of Mullagh in Co. Cavan).
Here is what the Catholic Encyclopedia says about St. Kilian:
Kilian of Würzburg, St., bishop and martyr; b. Ireland (according to strong local tradition, at Mullagh, County Cavan, Ireland), c. 640; d. Würzburg,, Germany, July 8, 689 (feast, July 8). According to the older and more trustworthy passio he was already a bishop when he left Ireland with 11 companions and reached the residence of the pagan Thuringian Duke, Gozbert, at Würzburg. Having decided to evangelize this region, he reputedly traveled to Rome for papal approval in autumn 686. The account of this journey and of his meeting with Pope Conon is certainly unhistorical. He converted many in Franconia and Thuringia, including Duke Gozbert, whom he persuaded to separate from Geilana, his brother's widow. In revenge Geilana had Kilian murdered along with two of his fellow missionaries, the priest Coloman (Kolonat) and the deacon Totnan. Their relics were solemnly transferred by Burchard, first bishop of Würzburg, to the new cathedral on July 8, 752, and are now enshrined in the Neumünster, erected over the spot where, according to tradition, the martyrdom took place. Much controversy has centered on the dating and reliability of the Passio Prima and Secunda that deal with the saint's life, but A. Bigelmair dates the Passio Prima to 752 and accepts it as historical, though with an accretion of legend.
The new online version of the Catholic Encyclopedia has a lengthier article on St. Kilian.
One researcher studying German Killions, Richard Killion, adds more details about St. Kilian:
This outpost is located across the Main River from Wurzburg, high on a hill with a moat. This installation is known as the Marienburg Fortress and has been refurbished so that it is a marvelous tourist attraction. ... There is a large statue of St. Kilian on the Marienburg Fortress, another large Statue on the old bridge from Wurzburg over the River Main to the Marienburg Fortress, and another Statue of St. Kilian on the Neumunster Church in Wurzburg where the St. Kilian Crypt is located. This is said to be over the location of the martyrdom.
There is a St. Kilian Cathedral in Wurzburg and another St. Killian Cathedral in Heilbron. Both of these structures are beautifully done. There are quite a few Kilians and a lessor number of Killians in modern German cities. When the common men started using last names in the period 1200 to 1300, I suspect that a number of them took the name of their Church for their last names. This is pure speculation of course.
It should also be noted that there are actually two saints known as St. Kilian. The Irish missionary to Würzburg is the better known of the two, but here is what the Catholic Encyclopedia says about the other:
KILIAN of Aubigny, St., Irish hermit in France; d. 670 (feast, Nov. 13). Little is known of the career of Kilian (originally Chillen). He is said to have been returning from a pilgrimage to Rome when he met St. Faro, Bishop of Meaux, who found him a site for a hermitage at Aubigny near Arras. Here Kilian spent the rest of his life and was later venerated as a saint. The same St. Faro was responsible for settling the Irish St. Fiacre in the same part of France.
Here is a link to one more webpage about St. Kilian.
There is an independent movie that may well be of interest to those reading this page, "Kilian's Chronicle". The promo says, "Five centuries before Columbus, a Viking ship was lost on these shores. To find their way home they needed the navigating stone, stolen by Kilian, the Irish slave, who escaped from their ship. This film tells the story of Kilian's flight to freedom and his encounter with the original people of America."
Pamela Berger, the producer of the film, reports that it has now been retitled (darn it!) as "The Magic Stone", and it is now distributed by Amazing Movies (7471 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90046, (213) 852-1396).
For more information, click
A famous opera figure is the farmer Kilian in "Der Freischuetz" of Weber.
The most well-known "Killi*n" character on TV is probably that of "Jack Killian", played by Gary Cole, on the television series, "Midnight Caller". There are at least two websites (here and here) devoted to information on that television series, which aired on NBC between 1988 and 1991.
There are many other Killi*n characters from movies and TV. Here are those reported by the Internet Movie Database:
Actor/Actress Character Name of program or movie Richard Dean Anderson Killian Fallout (1997) (VG) Stephen Boyd Killian Kill! Kill! Kill! (1972) Peter Boyle J.J. Killian (1989-1991) "Midnight Caller" (1988) TV Series Charles Bronson Jay Killion Assassination (1987) Charles D. Brown Jimm Killian Right to the Heart (1942) Shawn Brown Mokie Killion R.O.T.O.R. (1989) Gary Cole Jack "Nighthawk" Killian "Midnight Caller" (1988) TV Series Ken Curtis Monsignor Killian Last Hurrah, The (1958) John Davidson Terry Killian Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders II (1980) (TV) Geena Davis Wendy Killian "Buffalo Bill" (1983) TV Series Richard Dawson Damon Killian Running Man, The (1987) Kevin Dunn Tom Killian Bonfire of the Vanities, The (1990) James Edwards Sergeant Killian Men in War (1957) José Ferrer Killian Seduced (1985) (TV) Glenn Ford Jim Killian Heaven with a Gun (1969) David Hemblen Dr. Killian Fly Away Home (1996) William Hill Jerry Killian Striptease (1996) Jack Holt Inspector Killian Donovan Affair, The (1929) Jack Holt Killian Subway Express (1931) William Hopper Lal Killian Mystery House (1938) Paul Hurst Inspector Killian Blackmailer (1936) Brenda Joyce Jenny Killian Right to the Heart (1942) Tom Laughlin Killian No Escape (1994) John Loder Captain Craig Killian Gorilla Man (1942) Janet MacLachlan Linda Killian Kid from Nowhere, The (1982) (TV) David McFadden Father Killian Lorenzo's Oil (1992) Darren McGavin Paul Killian Berlin Affair (1970) (TV) Herb McGillis Victor Killian 'Til We Meet Again (1940) Hugh O'Brian Killian Wild Women (1970) (TV) Katherine Perry Jenny Killian Womanpower (1926) James Sikking Monsignor Killian Last Hurrah, The (1977) (TV) Claire Skinner Beth Killian Sleepy Hollow (1999) Hermann Speelmans Wachtmeister Killian Hauptmann von Köpenick, Der (1931) John Vernon Killian It Rained All Night the Day I Left (1980) Steven Waddington Killian Sleepy Hollow (1999) Will Walling Jake Killian Womanpower (1926)
Richard Evans wrote to tell us of a late friend of his, Leo Killion. This Mr. Killion achieved his moment of fame by writing the "Hut Sut Song", which sold millions of records as one of the novelty songs that were quite popular in the 1930s. It was recorded by Les Brown, Kay Kayser and a dozen other orchestras, and was mentioned in the movie "Going My Way" and much later on the TV series "Winds of War". Thanks for the info, Richard!
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