KILLEN Family Genealogy

1. William Killen, (1750 - c 1822)

William Killen, the oldest known ancestor in this line, was born in Dublin, Ireland on 4 SEP 1750. I have not found an immigration date for him. William married Jane Miller, the daughter of Samuel and Mary (Maffitt) Miller, on 22 AUG 1781 in Cecil County, MD. Family stories say that the Millers did not approve of the marriage, and so around 1789 William and Jane Killen moved to Cumberland County, NC. There were already two Killen men living there (Adam and Thomas), but no connection between the three has been proven.

William Killen is said to have died in 1822, though no will has been found. His last deeds were recorded in November and December of 1822. The family lived in that part of Cumberland County which is now in Harnett County, and the homeplace was still partially standing in the 1960s.

Jane Miller Killen moved with her daughter Harriet to Houston County, GA around 1830. Two of Jane's sons already lived there (James and John). Jane Killen died in 1832 in Houston County. Her will is recorded there.

The children of William Killen and Jane Miller were:

2. John B. Mc. Newton Killen, (1788 - 1871)

John Killen was born in Maryland on 29 FEB 1788. John's name has been recorded as 'John Bell Newton Killen', but that is a misreading of an 1822 deed in Cumerbland County, NC which lists him as 'John B. Mc. N. Killen' repeatedly. The 'B' and 'M' are run together and are misleading at first glance. It is not clear what the initials stand for, but 'Newton' is supposed because the name passed through the next generations.

As a very small boy, John moved with his parents from MD to Cumberland County, NC. As a young man, John moved on his own to Darlington District, SC where he volunteered for service in the War of 1812.

John Killen is reputed to have first married Jane JOLLY in SC before 1820. She supposedly died from childbirth, and her twin sons did not survive either.

John married second to Louisa PARROTT on 28 FEB 1822 in Darlington County. Louisa was the daughter of Jacob and Penelope (?House?) PARROTT. John and Louisa Killen had six children:

Louisa (Parrott) Killen died at or shortly after the birth of Julia. John moved his family to Houston County, GA soon after. John Killen was a large land owner and was politically active in his new home. He served as a delegate to the State convention of the Union Democratic Republican party in 1835. He was Houston County's State Representative in 1841.

John Killen married thirdly to Margaret SHINE 23 JUL 1835. John's brother-in-law Lewis PEACOCK performed the marriage. John and Margaret had eleven children:

John Killen was 73 years old when the Civil War started. He himself did not serve, but did send all nine of his living sons off to war. Two of them did not survive, while others were captured or wounded.

John Killen died 6 JUN 1871 at 83 years of age. He left a will which is recorded in the Houston County records. He also had an obituary printed in The Hawkinsville Dispatch on 15 JUN 1871. John Killen was photographed as an older man. In 1876, painter Charles de Berutt created a charcoal portrait on John from that photograph.

Margaret (Shine) Killen filed for a widow's pension based on John's War of 1812 service. Her file, #15006, is at the National Archives. Margaret Killen died 28 APR 1888 in Houston County. She and John are buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Perry, GA, but the tombstones do not have inscriptions.

3. Theodore Newton Killen, (1827 - 1902)

Theodore Newton Killen was born 11 NOV 1827 in Darlington District, SC. As a young man he travelled to New York to learn to be a watchmaker, but decided to return home. He worked as a mechanic for a time, then travelled with his brother John to Louisiana in 1851. Theodore lived in LA for about 2 years before returning to Houston County, GA. There he married Frances D. Ellison on 22 FEB 1853. Frances was born 11 JAN 1834 in Burke County, GA. See the ELLISON/ELLISTON/ELLYSON page for more about her family.

During the Civil War, Theodore served the Confederacy in a munitions factory in Macon. He also served in the Georgia Militia defending the railroad there.

Theodore and Frances Killen moved to Terrell County, GA sometime in the early 1860s. There he owned and operated a lumber mill and later a coffin factory. He was active politically, and served on the Board of Education. Theodore Killen also built furniture, and built his home in Bronwood without using nails. The home still stands (with a large recent addition) just north of Bronwood.

Frances Killen died on 28 SEP 1887. She is buried out behind the old Killen home in Bronwood. Theodore married on 22 JAN 1888 to Frances's widowed sister, Caroline V. (Ellison) ALEXANDER.

Theodore Killen died on 10 AUG 1902 in Bronwood, and is also buried in the family plot at the house. Nothing further is known about Caroline Ellison Alexander Killen.

Theodore and Frances Ellison Killen had seven children:

4. Varina Killen, (1867 - 1953)

Varina Killen was born 7 JAN 1867 in Terrell County, Georgia. She was named for Confederate First Lady Varina (Howell) Davis. Varina Killen was the sixth of Theodore Newton and Frances (Ellison) Killen's seven children. Varina Killen grew up in Brown's Station/Bronwood, GA. At age 22, she married Dr. John Fillmore McMath on April 28, 1889. The ceremony was performed by the Reverend M. B. L. Binnion. See the McMATH family page for more information on this family.

Last Revised: 14 SEP 2010