Dillon (No.1) family genealogy

Arms: A lion pass. betw. three crescents gu. Crest: A semi lion ramp. gu. holding in the paws an estoile wavy or.

LOCHAN Dilmhain (by some called "Lochan Dilionn," from the Irish dilé, "a flood") was, according to the "Book of Armagh," ancestor of Dillon, of Cuircneach or "Dillon's Country," in the county Westmeath; and was, according to some of the Irish genealogists, brother of Colman Mór (king of Meath), and of Hugh Slaine, the 141st Monarch of Ireland: all three (those genealogists say), the sons of Dermod, the 133rd Monarch, who was son of Fergus Cearrbheoil, son of Connall Creamthann (the first Christian King of Meath), son of Niall of the Nine Hostages, the 126th Monarch. And it is stated that the said Lochan killed the said Colman Mór, for refusing to let him enjoy his proportion of the Kingdom of Meath, called Cuircneach; and therefore fled into France, where he and his posterity remained until Robert Le Dillon, lineally descended from the said Lochan, came into Ireland (with those that Dermod MacMorough invited out of England to assist him in the recovery of his Kingdom of Leinster,) and laid claim to the said territory of Cuircneach; which having made appear, after some contest and strife, O'Melaghlin, then King of Meath, was by the interposition and mediation of O'Molloy and MacGeoghagan, then powerful men in the country, content he should enjoy; and, accordingly, he and his posterity possessed that territory from that time down to the Cromwellian confiscations of Ireland, in the seventeenth century.

That the said Lochan Dilmhain[1] was the ancestor of Dillon, Delion, or Dillune, or that he fled into France upon the murder of his brother is not gainsayed; but that he was brother of either Aodh Slaine (the 141st Monarch of Ireland), or of Colman Mór, King of Meath, is contradicted by the "Book of the Reigns of the Irish Monarchs," where giving an account of the reign of the Monarch Aodh Slaine, it is stated:

"Aodh (or Aidus) Slaine (son of Dermod, son of Fergus Cearbheoil), and Colman Rimidh, the 142nd Monarch, son of Baodan (or Boetanus), the 137th Monarch, son of Murchertus Mór MacEarca, the 131st Monarch, son of Muredach, son of Eoghan, son of Niall Mór (or Niall of the Nine Hostages), reigned jointly for six years, until Colman (rimidh) was slain by Lochan dilmhain, son of Baodan, son of Muriartus or Murchertus Mór MacEarca, son of Muredach; and Aidus Slaine was killed by Conall Guthbhinn."

According to this extract, it is evident that Lochan Dilmhain was brother of Colman Rimeach (or Rimidh), the 142nd Monarch (whom he killed), and not the brother of Colman Mór, who was King of Meath, but never Monarch of Ireland; for, Lochan Dilmhain was the fourth generation after Eoghan, son of Niall Mór, and Colman Mór was the third generation after Conall Creamthann, brother of Eoghan—both sons of the said Niall Mór (or Niall of the Nine Hostages), above mentioned.

No account can be given of the generations from the said Lochan Dilmhain to the said Robert Le Dillon, who was called "Robert the Sacsanach" (or Robert the Englishman), because he came over with the English at the time of the English invasion of Ireland; but as Roderick O'Connor, brother of Cathal Craobh-dearg, who is No. 112 on the (No. 1) "O'Connor" (Connaught) pedigree, was the Irish Monarch at the time of that invasion, we may assume that Robert Le Dillon was of the same (112th) generation as the Monarch Roderick O'Connor; and that there must have been twenty generations between Lochan Dilmhain and his descendant Robert Le Dillon.[2]

Down from that Robert Le Dillon, the following is the stem of the Dillon family:

112. Robert Le Dillon.

113. Thomas: his son.

114. William Dillon: his son; the first of the family that assumed this sirname.

115. Sir Henry: his son; built the Abbey[3] (or Convent) of St. Francis, in Athlone, in the reign of King John.

116. Gerald: his son.

117. Gerald Oge: his son.

118. Edmond: his son.

119. Gerald (3): his son; had three sons—1. James, 2, Gerald Oge, and 3. Richard.

120. Sir James: son of Gerald.

121. Thomas Maol: his son. This Thomas had three sons—1. Sir Theobald (or Toby), 2. Edmond, 3. Gerald.

122. Sir Theobald: son of Thomas, Maol: was the first "lord viscount Dillon," of Costello and Gallen, in the county Mayo.

123. Sir Luke: his son.

124. Robert: his son.

125. Theobald: his son; lord viscount Dillon.

126. Henry: his son; lord viscount Dillon, living in 1708.

127. Richard Dillon: his son.


[1] Dilmhain: This name has been also anglicised Dillane.

[2] Robert Le Dillon: Niall of the Nine Hostages is No. 87 on the "O'Neill" (Princes of Tyrone) pedigree; whose son Eoghan (or Eugenius) is therefore No. 88; whose son Muredach is No. 89; whose son Murchertus Mór MacEarca is No. 90; whose son Baodan is No. 91; whose son Lochan Dilmhain must therefore be No. 92: so that there were at least twenty generations between him and Robert Le Dillon, above mentioned.

[3] Abbey: Some persons are of opinion that "there is no such thing as a Franciscan Abbey;" that "the Franciscan houses are properly called Convents, which were never governed by Abbots;" and that, in such cases, "Guardian is the proper designation." In our sources of information, however, we find mention made of the "Abbey of St. Francis, in Athlone;" "Abbey of Cavan," etc., as recorded in these pages.