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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Where did the Scottish Gilmore family come from? What is the Scottish Gilmore family crest and coat of arms? When did the Gilmore family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Gilmore family history?

A Strathclyde-Briton family from the Scottish/English Borderlands was the first to use the surname Gilmore. It is a name for a devotee of the Virgin Mary. Looking back further, we find the name Gilmore was originally derived from the Gaelic Gille Moire, which means follower of Mary.


The origin of rules governing the spelling of names and even words is a very recent innovation. Before that, words and names were spelled according to sound, and, therefore, often appeared under several different spelling variations in a single document. Gilmore has been spelled Gilmour, Gilmore, Gilmur, Gilmor, Gilmer and many more.

First found in Ayrshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Àir), formerly a county in the southwestern Strathclyde region of Scotland, that today makes up the Council Areas of South, East, and North Ayrshire, where they held a family seat from very ancient times. Early records from Cumberland show that between 1133 and 1156, Gilmor, son of Gilander founded the chapelry of Treverman (later Trierman) in the parish of Walton, Cumberland, site of Triermain castle. Gilmore meaning "Gill the Big" was son of Gillanders the great Chief who lived about 1140.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gilmore research. Another 185 words(13 lines of text) covering the years 1250, 1605, 1671, 1661 and 1671 are included under the topic Early Gilmore History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 27 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gilmore Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Gilmore family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 101 words(7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


The persecution faced in their homeland left many Scots with little to do but sail for the colonies of North America. There they found land, freedom, opportunity, and nations in the making. They fought for their freedom in the American War of Independence, or traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. In both cases, they made enormous contributions to the formation of those great nations. Among them:

Gilmore Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Robert Gilmore, who arrived in New England in 1718

Gilmore Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Joseph Dent Gilmore, who arrived in Grenada in 1801
  • Jourdan Gilmore, aged 16, landed in New Castle, Del in 1804
  • Jane Gilmore, aged 50, arrived in New Castle, Del in 1804
  • Frances Gilmore, aged 21, landed in New Castle, Del in 1804
  • Rose Gilmore, aged 17, landed in New Castle, Del in 1804


  • Commander Howard Walter Gilmore (1902-1943), American submarine commander awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1943
  • Charles Whitney Gilmore (1874-1945), American paleontologist
  • Bryan Gilmore (b. 1978), American NFL wide receiver
  • Frederick Garfield "Fred" Gilmore (1887-1969), Canadian-born, American featherweight professional boxer who won bronze at the 1904 Olympics
  • Dame Mary Jane Gilmore (1865-1962), Australian poet
  • Alan C. Gilmore, New Zealand astronomer, he has discovered some forty asteroids
  • Daniel Gilmore (b. 1983), Australian rules footballer
  • Douglas Robert "Doug" Gilmore (b. 1963), retired Canadian professional ice hockey player, inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame (2011)
  • Brigadier George Henry Gilmore (1895-1970), British Commanding Officer 203rd Brigade (1941-1944)
  • Gail Gilmore (1937-2014), Canadian television actress, ballet dancer


  • I Walk in the Light: The Ancestors and Descendants of John Smith Gilmore by Walter S. and Florence F. Beanblossom.

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Perseveranti dabitur
Motto Translation: It will be given to the persevering.


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  1. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  2. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  3. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  5. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  6. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Socts Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Modern Application of the Art of Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  7. Adam, Frank. Clans Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands 8th Edition. London: Bacon (G.W.) & Co, 1970. Print. (ISBN 10-0717945006).
  8. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  9. Skene, William Forbes Edition. Chronicles of the Picts, Chronicles of the Scots and Other Early Memorials of Scottish History. Edinburgh: H.M. General Register House, 1867. Print.
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  11. ...

The Gilmore Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Gilmore Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 24 April 2014 at 09:04.

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