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Galyean Origins

Posted: 1305769199000
Classification: Query
Hi Everyone,

My paternal line is McLain, anglicized from the gaelic "MacGillean". I have several (very distant) DNA matches with Galyeans and Gallions. I was wondering what the origins of your name was and if possibly they may have branched off of my ancestral line and been Gilleans (minus the "Mac") some time ago in Scotland.

I have hundreds of distant matches with people but this is the only name that is re-occuring.

Re: Galyean Origins

Posted: 1307414816000
Classification: Query
Almost all Gallions/Galyeans/Galyons in America today descend from one Joseph Gallion who came to America in 1664 from London, England. The Gallions in England are thought to be of French origin with the French spelling of the name being Gallienne. We find Gallions in England as early as 1160 and in the London area as early as 1330.

Re: Galyean Origins

Posted: 1307492585000
Classification: Query
Thank you very much for the reply RedVDub1, it makes these matches more interesting. My DNA test confirmed a mutation for the "Niall Of the Nine Hostages" NW Irish Haplotype, the progenitor of which lived in Northern Ireland around 400ad and has the greatest amount of descendants in N. Ireland and the western isles of Scotland. Perhaps there is more than one origin of the name or some variants could be a misspelling of something else.

Thanks again!

Re: Galyean Origins

Posted: 1321062442000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1321062860000
I'm guessing most of you are from the NC Galyean family, correct?
I found mid-1700s records of Galyean/Gallion in Cheshire, England, not to mention in the same time-frame it appears in Northern Ireland as Gallion/Gallen/Gallon/Galin phoenetic spellings in Antrim, Tyrone, and Donegal. I found there was an Ulster name "McGallion" and the following would explain my DNA connection to several Galyeans. My DNA matches James Gallion, David Galyean, Roy Galyean, Richard Galyen. Two of which are within 19 generations (early 1600s). My other matches are to O'Byrnes, O'Doughertys, McGoverns, Fannings, Gallaghers, Campbells, Reillys and Kellys. So for the notes of all Galyean genealogists, this mostly disproves the French origins of the name.

"The name "McGallion" is probably of Irish or Scot origin and can be found in both countries present day. It is most likely of Irish origin and possibly derived from the Gaileoin "race or tribe" of Irish Mythology. Scholars have placed the arrival of the Gaileoin in Ireland at about 500 to 300 B.C.. In the mythological tale, the "Tain Bo Cuilange," The Gaileoin play a prominent role as warriors in the army of Ailill and Medb, king and queen of Connacht,in their raid on Ulster. There are other references to the Gaileoin warriors in the myths, some not very flattering. Some scholars and researchers of Irish Mythology believe that some peoples and events of Irish Myth were grounded in fact. The Gaileoin are believed to have been real people that survived into early historical times, beginning about 500 A.D., as the Galienga Mor and Galienga Brecc. They seemed to have been strongest in Leinster and northern Connacht and to have remained as prominent tribes to about the 10th century. In about the tenth century the Normans (French) invaded Ireland and became a power to be reckoned with. Under the Normans some parts of Ireland were divided into baronies. "Muchaire Galienga" (The plain of the Galienga) was one such barony. The Normans though, applied their spelling and replaced the Gaelic "Galienga" with Gallion. And combined it with the Gaelic word "mor," meaning great. The two combined together became the present day word "morgallion," meaning the; "Great Galienga." The barony is still recognized under the Irish. At least one other place name in Ireland carries the Gallion name; Slieve Gallion (mountain) in County Derry in Ulster. An Irish folk song "Slieve Gallion Braes" commemorates Slieve Gallion.

As a surname the McGallion name may have first carried the O prefix rather than the "mac" prefix of the present. If McGallion is derrived from early mythology then its origins would probably trace back to about 500 to 300 B.C. to the Gaileoin of the myths.

There are many variant spellings of Irish words and names in the myths and it is said that one is no more or less correct than another. Gaileoin for example can be spelled as Gallion, Galion, Galian, Galioin, Galiain and many others."

Re: Galyean Origins

Posted: 1459822822000
Classification: Query

Thank you for the post. You may be interested in the book I'm writing about Niall of the Nine Hostages. It's the first fully illustrated book about King Niall:

Thank you for checking it out and please do share with your friends and family.


Lance McNeill
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