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

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

The name Gemmell was derived from the Middle English word "Gamel" which meant the "old one." Gamel was a fairly popular personal name in Scotland particularly in Ayrshire. "Gemell" is also derived from the Italian word for "twins" and it if from this source that heralds derived the ordinary "bars-gemel" which de Picts "twin" bars or a pair of two barrulets, placed close together, referred to as one bar-gemel. Bars gemel were awarded for acts of particular bravery in times of war.

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Spelling variations of this family name include: Gemmell, Gemel, Gemell, Gemmel, Gemmill and others.

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 one of the first records of the name was Gamel or Gamellus who witnessed charters by Richard, bishop of St. Andrews c. 1173. The same person witnessed a charter by Roger, bishop elect of St. Andrews relating to the church of Haddington c. 1189-1198.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gemmell research. Another 115 words(8 lines of text) covering the years 1250, 1600 and 1173 are included under the topic Early Gemmell History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Gemmell Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Michael Gemmell arrived in New England in 1709 with his wife and son

Gemmell Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Patrick Gemmell arrived in Philadelphia in 1860
  • Walter Gemmell in the same port in 1868
  • Gemmell, aged 38, who landed in America, in 1892

Gemmell Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • David Gemmell, aged 44, who emigrated to America from Glasgow, in 1903
  • Annie Gemmell, aged 4, who emigrated to the United States from Bannockburn, Scotland, in 1907
  • Isabella Gemmell, aged 42, who emigrated to the United States from Greenock, Scotland, in 1910
  • James Gemmell, aged 26, who emigrated to America from Paisley, Scotland, in 1910
  • Annie Gemmell, aged 29, who settled in America from Glasgow, Scotland, in 1911


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  • Thomas "Tommy" Gemmell (b. 1943), Scottish footballer and manager
  • Tommy Gemmell (1930-2004), Scottish association football player
  • David Gemmell (1948-2006), British author of heroic fantasy
  • Kris Gemmell (b. 1977), New Zealand triathlete and aquathon, World Champion (2002)
  • Nikki Gemmell (b. 1967), Australian author
  • Rhys Gemmell (b. 1896), Australian former tennis player, winner of the Australian Championship men's singles title (1921)
  • Ruth Gemmell (b. 1967), British actress


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  1. Moody David. Scottish Family History. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0806312688).
  2. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  3. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
  4. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  5. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  6. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  7. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
  8. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  9. Black, George F. The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3).
  10. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. The Charters of David I The Written Acts of David I King of Scots, 1124-53 and of His Son Henry, Earl of Northumerland, 1139-52. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1999. Print.
  11. ...

The Gemmell Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Gemmell 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 11 December 2013 at 14:17.

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