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

Origins Available: English, Irish-Alt, Irish

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

Many variations of the name Gorman have evolved since the time of its initial creation. In Gaelic it appeared as Mac Gormain, derived from the word "gorm," which means "blue."


Within the archives researched, many different spelling variations of the surname Gorman were found. These included One reason for the many variations is that scribes and church officials often spelled an individual's name as it sounded. This imprecise method often led to many versions. Gorman, MacGorman, O'Gorman and others.

First found in County Clare, where O'Gorman was chief of Tullichrin, a territory comprising parts of the baronies of Moyarta and Ibrackan.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gorman research. Another 202 words(14 lines of text) covering the year 1172 is included under the topic Early Gorman History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Gorman Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


During the 19th century thousands of impoverished Irish families made the long journey to British North America and the United States. These people were leaving a land that had become beset with poverty, lack of opportunity, and hunger. In North America, they hoped to find land, work, and political and religious freedoms. Although the majority of the immigrants that survived the long sea passage did make these discoveries, it was not without much perseverance and hard work: by the mid-19th century land suitable for agriculture was short supply, especially in British North America, in the east; the work available was generally low paying and physically taxing construction or factory work; and the English stereotypes concerning the Irish, although less frequent and vehement, were, nevertheless, present in the land of freedom, liberty, and equality for all men. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. Research into passenger and immigration lists has brought forth evidence of the early members of the Gorman family in North America:

Gorman Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Mathew Gorman, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746
  • William Gorman who settled in New England in 1747
  • Thomas Gorman, who landed in America in 1760-1763
  • James Gorman, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1763
  • William Gorman, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1766

Gorman Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Mustie Gorman, who landed in America in 1801
  • William Gorman settled in Boston in 1804
  • rhos Gorman, who landed in Wilmington, North Carolina in 1804
  • Mrs. Gorman, who landed in Newport, Rhode Island in 1811
  • Dennis Gorman, who landed in Newport, Rhode Island in 1811

Gorman Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century

  • Joseph Gorman, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1901


  • Arthur Pue Gorman (1839-1906), American politician and Senator
  • Cliff Gorman (1936-2002), American actor
  • James Gorman (b. 1859), American winner of a gold and bronze Olympic medal for shooting at 1908 games
  • William Moore "Terence" Gorman (1923-2003), Irish economist and academic
  • Sir John Reginald Gorman (b. 1923), Northern Irish politician
  • James Gorman VC (1834-1882), English recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • Lynne Gorman (1919-1989), Canadian actress
  • Brigadier Sir Eugene Gorman (1891-1973), Australian Chief Inspector of Army Administration from 1942 to 1945


  • The Gorman Family History: Including the Genealogy of Their Rider and Armstrong Ancestors by Edith Lynn Mlaker.
  • James Henry Gorman of Haverhill, Massachusetts, His Forebears, Family and Descendants by Arthur Ellsworth Gorman.

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: Primi et ultimi in bello
Motto Translation: First and last in war.


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  1. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  2. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  3. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  4. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  5. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  6. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  8. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  9. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  10. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
  11. ...

The Gorman Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Gorman 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 28 August 2014 at 14:47.

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