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Patrick Joseph Dillon1841

Patrick Joseph Dillon 1841

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Place of migration
Migrated to/Born in South America

Patrick Joseph Dillon was born in Tuam, County Galway in 1841. His parents were John Dillon and Julia Rigny. He was schooled in County Offaly before attending the seminary at All Hallows College in Dublin city. 

The entire Dillon family had strong connections with Argentina, as one of Patrick's uncles had alread emigrated there, and his brother was responsible for managing a government organised colonisation scheme. it therefore comes as little surprise that the newly ordained Father Dillon found himself on South American shores. 

In 1865 Fr Dillon arrived in the Falkland Islands as a missionary, and a year later made his way to Buenos Aires. There he found great success in his religious career, and by 1871 was named the Irish Chaplain of Buenos Aires. He set about establishing a number of legacy projects. In 1875 he founded a Catholic Newspaper called The Southern Cross. Then just a year later in 1876 he founded a school. St George's College was opened as a place where English speaking boys, mostly of Irish heritage, could receive an education. 

The next venture for Fr Dillon was into the world of politics. In 1883 he was elected as a National Senator. In his political role, Fr Dillon was responsible for the arrival of many more Irish people in Argentina, as he spearheaded an assisted migration campaign. However, there was some controversy involved as those running the scheme were receiving a payment for each new arrival from Ireland. It would also seem that those who were convinced to relocate were of the poorer classes and were deceived into believing that a life of less hardship awaited them in a new land. 

Fr Dillon died in Ireland on the 11th of June 1889. He is buried in Dublin's Glasnevin Cemetery



Additional Information
Date of Birth 1st Jan 1841
Date of Death 11th Jun 1889
Associated Building (s) Glasnevin Cemetery  
Names of Siblings John Stephen Dillon


  • Hi there, amazing u mentioned my ggreat uncle Fr. Patrick Dillon. His brother was my ggrand John Stephen Dillon, born in Ballyhaunis 1844. A colonization campaign went super wrong once... And it seems fam in Eire may had lost touch.
    Been trying to find the Irish connection, but so far haven't been able to. Any hints? Their dad was John Dillon, born circa 1808, married Julia Rigney or Rigny. John D. would managed/administered land in Ballinasloe area for over 35 years.
    Oh, there's a pretty interesting fact we learned shortly ago about my gggrandma John S: prior to coming to Arg, he tried his luck in the US. Fought in the civil war, was wounded... then volunteered in the 192 NY brigade. But it seems he got married, his wife died so lost track of his son. So I'd have an American grand uncle.
    Any feedback about finding Irish link for Patrick Joseph and John S. will be more than welcome!

    Jes Dillon

    Sunday 28th June 2020 04:31AM
  • Hi Jes, 

    That's fantastic that you have a connection with Patrick Joseph Dillon. Have you created Ancestor Chronicles for the rest of the Dillons? Creating them and connecting them with the relevant civil parishes is the best way to connect with the local community in Ireland and hopefully find a connection and more information. 

    If you need any help with this, here is a link to a YouTube tutorial on adding an ancestor to the Chronicles.

    If you have any other questions about the process then feel free to contact me at


    Chronicles Editor

    Monday 29th June 2020 10:47AM

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