Gentile History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Gentile family

The surname Gentile was first found in Hampshire, where they held a family seat since the Norman invasion of 1066. The name Gentile comes from the Old French word "gent," meaning "well-born" or "noble." [1] [2]

It could be a literal name, referring to someone who actually was well-born, or it may have been an ironic nickname, for someone who put on airs of aristocracy.

One of the oldest records of the family was found in Winmarleigh, a township in Lancashire with one of the older spellings used by the family. "In the reign of Henry III. lived a Gregory de Winnerlie or de Wimerlegh. In the 17th of Edward III., [(17th year of Edward III's reign)]Robert de Plesyngton received a fine from Thomas le Gentyll and his wife and son, for a moiety of the manor of Wynmerles." [3]

Other early record of the family were found in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273: William le Gentil in Yorkshire and Robert le Gentill, or Gentyl in Wiltshire. [1] John le Gentyl, was listed in Somerset during the first year of Edward III's reign [4] and in the 4th year of Edward II's reign William le Gentil was listed on the Patent Roll. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 list: Agnes Gentildoghter and Johannes Gentill. [1]

Important Dates for the Gentile family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gentile research. Another 35 words (2 lines of text) covering the years 1202 and 1242 are included under the topic Early Gentile History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gentile Spelling Variations

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Gentle, Gentles, Gentile, Jentle, Gentry and others.

Early Notables of the Gentile family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Gentile Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gentile migration to the United States

Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Gentile or a variant listed above:

Gentile Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Marido Gentile, aged 29, who landed in New Orleans, La in 1848 [5]
  • Nicodemo Gentile, who arrived in America in 1889
  • Agostino Gentile, aged 4, who landed in America, in 1896
  • Michele Gentile, who settled in New York, NY in 1899
Gentile Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Agostino Gentile, aged 19, who immigrated to America from Campobello, Sicily, in 1910
  • Amillo Gentile, aged 16, who landed in America from Ageroli, Italy, in 1910
  • Angela Gentile, aged 18, who settled in America from Gagliano, Sicily, in 1910
  • Alfio Gentile, aged 18, who landed in America from S. Fratello, Sicily, in 1912
  • Achille Gentile, aged 19, who immigrated to the United States from Campotant, Italy, in 1912
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Gentile (post 1700)

  • James Edward Gentile (b. 1934), American former Major League Baseball first baseman
  • Major Dominic "Don" Salvatore Gentile (1920-1951), American World War II fighter ace credited with over 26 victories
  • Dominic S. Gentile, American fighter pilot and flying ace in the Royal Air Force then the U.S. Army Air Forces, during World War II, credited with 21.83 aerial victories
  • Vincent Jacques-Etienne Avogari de Gentile, French Divisional General during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars from 1789 to 1815 [6]
  • Claudio Gentile (b. 1953), Italian football coach and former defender who appeared for Italy in two World Cup tournaments
  • Giovanni Gentile (1875-1944), Italian philosopher
  • Edera Gentile (1920-1993), Italian Olympic athlete in the Discus
  • Gentile da Fabriano (1370-1427), Italian painter


  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  5. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  6. ^ Generals Who Served in the French Army during the Period 1789-1815. (Retrieved 2015, February 11) Vincent Gentile. Retrieved from
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