According to the family legend, Jewish ancestors of this family were brought from Zilina(Zhilina) of Slovakia by crusaders by force.So this family have set up their first village Zilinai(Zhilins) in Lithuania. That is why the description of crusaders ways of the 14th century indicates the village Zilinai. Later the surname Zhilin was lithuanized as Zilionis, Zilinskas,and Zilenas and they have set the village Zilioniai.
In 1495, many our ancestors were expelled from Lithuania, because they were Jews and did not adopt christian religion. That is why in Lithuanian villages Zilioniai,Zilionys,and Zilinai no our relatives Zilionises today. That is why [external link] indicates Uljan Zhilionyte(1513), Bulgak Zhilin(1578), Michail Zhilenas(1703),and Evgeny Zhilionis(1746) were living in Russia. Also Zilonises live in Latvia.
However, they did a career in Russia.Sergey Zhilin was rewarded with the estate by the Tsar in Kursk in 1684. His grandson Zhilin Fiodor Yakovlevich was the Voronezh's governor. Fiodor's grandson Zhilin Aleksey Dmitriyevich (1767-1848) was the composer of romances. Fiodor's another descendant Zhilin Ivan Yakovlevich (1870-1922) was Voronezh's prominent bolshevik buried at the Kremlin wall in Moscow near his comrade Stalin...Aleksey's son Dmitry Zhilin is described in the story "The prisoner of Caucasus" by Lev Tolstoy.The Oscar film about this story is called "Prisoner of the Mountains". Dmitry's grandson Nikolay Zhilin was a member of Tsar Duma (parliament). Dmitry had a halfbrother Timofey-Tamosius whose descendants are enumerated in [external link]. Guerrillas Mykolas Zilionis 1918-1947 and Juozas Zilionis 1928-1951 have perished fighting Russian occupants. Zhilionis Fadey Matveevich was deported from Lithuania to Siberia for participation in the 1863 antirussian uprising. Vincas Zilionis (1905-1964) was a writer. Marija Zilionyte-Smitiene was an opera solist. Vincas Zilenas was a founder of Lithuanian National Museum.
One young Zylinski was married to some much older duchess Viazemska. Their descendants are enumerated in the book " Kniaziowie litewsko-ruscy od konca XIV wieku". What's more, the prince John Zylinski has built his golded palace in London.
One female Zylinska was married to Mordas-ewicz.Their descendants were using the double surname Mordas-Zylinski. Moses Mordasewicz-Zylinski was rewarded with the bridge over the Bug river by the king in 1514. Waclaw Mordas-Zylinski was the archbishop. His brother the general Wincenty Zylinski has built the Nedzinge church in Lithuania in 1844. There is the art gallery of Mykolas Zilinskas in Kaunas. However, the most prominent member of this offshoot was the chief of Tsar's General Staff Yakov Zhilinsky (1853-1918).
Dvorenins Zhilin and Zhilinsky are described in [external link] (alfavitny spisok family).
[external link]:ciolek-families indicates Zylinski was using coats of arms:
Ciolek,Janina,Korwin,Lubicz,Mora,Murdelio, Pogon Ruska, and Dabrowa.
Mordas was using only Ciolek and Mora coats of arms. Mordas-Zylinski family tree is published on [external link] and [external link] which indicates Antoni(b.
1755),Mikalaj(b.1754),and Tomasz(b.1768) who can be fathers of Antanas,Mykolas,and Tomas(1801-1874) indicated in the book "Musu saknys" by R.Butautas. [external link] also indicates some Zylonis.
Many American Zilionises live under the distorted surnames. [external link] indicates: Zilionis 27 homes, Zelonis 99 homes, Zilonis 74 homes, Zelanis 18, Zilanis 13, Zielanis 7,Zylonis 7, Zelionis 2. Their mass migration from Lithuania to Pennsylvania is recorded on [external link]. Stanley Zielanis has published his biography " A chronicle of deeds" which is available on [external link]
Not all our relatives were using Lithuanian or Russian names. For example, [external link] indicates brothers Zhilin Movsha(1823),Teviash,Rubin, and their father Nisel or Nosel. It also indicates brothers Zhilin Shmerko,Mendel,Tevel, and their father Abram. They lived in Valkininkai near the village Zilinai established by Zhilins. It also indicates many Zhilinski,Jilinski,and Gilinski.
We don't have any information on the origins of the Zilionis name. Have information to share?