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

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

The Gildea surname is a patronymic, created from the Medieval given name Benne, which comes from the Latin word "benedictus," which means "blessed." Some instances of the surname may also be derived from the name of the village of Benson in Oxfordshire (Bennesingtun in Old English).

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Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Gildea has undergone many spelling variations, including Benson, Benison, Bensone, Bennison, Gildea, Gilday, Gildee, Bennsone, Bennisoun, Bennisone and many more.

First found in Oxfordshire, where a Peter de Bensinton was recorded in the Curia Regis Rolls for 1208. Henry de Benson was recorded in that same county in Oseney, in 1269. A family of the name was established from ancient times in the vicinity of Barrow-in-Furness, Lancashire. The Gildea, Gildee and other spellings were adopted in Ireland and are explained in more detail later.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gildea research. Another 137 words(10 lines of text) covering the years 1326, 1200, 1332, 1393, 1667, 1640, 1676, 1731, 1711, 1713, 1829, 1896 and 1883 are included under the topic Early Gildea History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 99 words(7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gildea Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Gildea family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 233 words(17 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Gildea were among those contributors:

Gildea Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Dennis Gildea, who arrived in Mississippi in 1891

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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: Si Deus quis contra?
Motto Translation: If God be with us who can be against us?.

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  1. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  3. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  4. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  5. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  6. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  7. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  8. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  9. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  11. ...

The Gildea Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Gildea 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 14 June 2013 at 04:30.

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