Recorded in several forms including Kilban, Kilbane and the dialectal Gilbane, this is an Irish surname. It is from the far west of the country in County Mayo and particularly the town of Achill, where most early recordings are to be found. In fact few recordings in Ireland are really very early because sadly most church registers from late medieval upto the mid Victorian period, were lost when the IRA in one of their periodic fits of vandalism and stupidity, destroyed the Public Records Office in Dublin. This was during the Civil War in Ireland from 1922 to 1926, when the IRA were defeated by the supporters of the Irish Free State. These ancient charters and records were some of the oldest in Europe dating back to the very beginings of civilisation. At this time Ireland lead the world as a centre of study and academic achievement. Many records predated the Anglo-Norman Invasion of 1170, were literally 'the heart of the country,' and by any standards were of no military value. In this case the surname derives from the pre 10th century Gaelic Mac giolla Bhain, which loosely translates as 'The son of the follower of the white one'. As to whether 'the white one' referred to a religious order who wore white, or whether it was a reference to an early Norseman, since they were fair skinned, is unclear. An example of the surname recording is that of Owen Kilban also recorded as Kilbane, at Achill, County Mayo, on February 14th 1865.
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