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The notable Gilbert family arose among the Cornish People, a race with a rich Celtic heritage and an indomitable fighting spirit who inhabited the southwest of England. While surnames were well-known during the English medieval period, Cornish People originally used only a single name. The way in which hereditary surnames came into common use is interesting. As the population of medieval Europe multiplied, people began to assume an extra name to avoid confusion and to further identify themselves. Under the Feudal System of government, surnames evolved and they often reflected life on the manor and in the field. Patronymic surnames were derived from given names and were the predominant type of surname among the Celtic peoples of Britain. However, the people of Cornwall provide a surprising exception to this rule, and patronymic surnames are less common among them than other people of Celtic stock, such as their Welsh neighbors. This is due to the greater influence of English bureaucracy and naming practices in Cornwall at the time that surnames first arose. This type of surname blended perfectly with the prevailing Feudal System. One feature that is occasionally found in Cornish surnames of this type is the suffix -oe or -ow; this is derived from the Cornish plural suffix -ow. is a patronymic surname that came from the ancient Germanic personal name Gisilbert, meaning bright pledge.

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The surname Gilbert was first found in Devon where they were well established shortly after the Conquest with Gilbert of Sempringham ( c. 1083 - c. 1190,) son of a wealthy Norman knight, a theologian, who became the first Englishman to found a convent; he was canonized in 1202. "The Gilbertines were an English order with numerous convents at the time of the suppression." [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed the following: Isolda filius Gilberti; Robert Gilbertus; and Eustace filius Gilebert, while the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed: Nicholas Gilberdson; and Johannes Gilberd. [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)

Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and 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 of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Gilbert, Gilbart and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gilbert research. Another 151 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1537, 1583, 1544, 1603, 1613 and 1694 are included under the topic Early Gilbert History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Notable amongst the family at this time was Sir Robert Gilbert of Somerson; Sir Humphrey Gilbert (c.1537-1583), English soldier and politician, known as the first English colonizer, even though his...

Another 30 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gilbert Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Some of the Gilbert 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 and printed products wherever possible.

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A look at the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Gilbert:

Gilbert Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Raleigh Gilbert settled to Maine in 1607
  • John Gilbert settled in New England in 1620
  • John Gilbert settled in Massachusetts in 1630
  • Richard Gilbert, who landed in Maryland in 1633
  • Tichard Gilbert, who arrived in Maryland in 1634
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Gilbert Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • William Gilbert settled in Boston in 1716
  • Bond Gilbert settled in Nevis, Massachusetts in 1722
  • Dorothy Gilbert, who landed in Virginia in 1724
  • Anthony Gilbert, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1732
  • Anthorn Gilbert, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1732
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Gilbert Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Christopher Gilbert, who arrived in America in 1802
  • Charles Gilbert, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1812
  • Peter R Gilbert, aged 43, landed in Maryland in 1812
  • Colomeza, Jose Gilbert, who landed in Puerto Rico in 1816
  • Adam Gilbert, who arrived in Maryland in 1825
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Gilbert Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Walter Henry Gilbert, who arrived in Mississippi in 1902

Gilbert Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century

  • Pierre Gilbert, aged 35, arrived in Quebec in 1658
  • Come Gilbert, aged 23, landed in Quebec in 1699

Gilbert Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Mr. Joseph Gilbert U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784
  • Cpl. Josiah Gilbert U.E. who settled in Home District [York County], Ontario c. 1784
  • Mr. Pearce Gilbert U.E. who settled in St. Mary's, Guysborough County, Nova Scotia c. 1784 listed on the Muster Roll at Gulliver's Hole, St. Mary's Bay and Sissiboo
  • Mr. Perez Gilbert U.E. born in Freetown, Massachusetts, USA who settled in Queens County, New Brunswick c. 1784
  • Capt. Samuel Gilbert U.E. born in Berkley, Massachusetts, USA who settled in New Brunswick c. 1784 he returned to the USA, brother of Col. Thomas Gilbert
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Gilbert Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Mary Ann Gilbert, who arrived in Halifax in 1811
  • Ann Gilbert, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1811
  • Anne Gilbert, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1811
  • John Gilbert, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1811
  • John Gilbert, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1811
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Gilbert Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Samuel Gilbert, English convict from Staffordshire, who was transported aboard the "Ann" on August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • William Gilbert, English convict from Warwick, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on July 3, 1822, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
  • George Gilbert, English convict from Surrey, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on April 1st, 1822, settling in New South Wales, Austraila
  • John Gilbert, English convict from Berkshire, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 17, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • John Gilbert, English convict from Nottingham, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on September 21, 1826, settling in New South Wales, Australia
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Gilbert Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • James Gilbert, aged 22, a tailor, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bengal Merchant" in 1840
  • Isabella Gilbert, aged 5, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bengal Merchant" in 1840
  • Christina Gilbert, aged 3, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bengal Merchant" in 1840
  • William Gilbert, aged 35, a farmer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duke of Roxburgh" in 1840
  • Philip Gilbert, aged 6, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duke of Roxburgh" in 1840
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  • Thomas "Tommy" Edward Gilbert Sr. (1940-2015), American professional wrestler, inducted into the Memphis Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1994
  • Hubert A. Gilbert, American Democrat politician, Member of Alaska Territorial House of Representatives 4th District, 1955-56
  • J. C. Gilbert, American politician, Delegate to Kentucky Secession Convention, 1861
  • Ruth Alice "Ronnie" Gilbert (1926-2015), American folk singer, songwriter and activist, one of the original members of the music quartet the Weavers
  • Major-General Harold Napoleon Gilbert (1896-1966), American Director of Military Personnel Procurement Service, Office of the Adjutant-General (1945-1946)
  • Frank M. Gilbert, American politician, Member of South Dakota State House of Representatives 53rd District, 1921-26
  • Frank Manson Gilbert (d. 1960), American politician, U.S. Vice Consul in Brussels, 1931-32
  • Frank N. Gilbert, American Democrat politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from New York 17th District, 1888
  • Frank T. Gilbert, American Republican politician, Postmaster at Elgin, Illinois, 1869-73
  • G. A. Gilbert, American politician, Mayor of Watertown, South Dakota, 1953-54
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Gilbert Historic Events



Halifax Explosion

  • Master William George  Gilbert (1913-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917

HMS Hood

  • Mr. Harold Gilbert (b. 1919), English Able Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Manchester, Lancashire, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking
  • Mr. Charles E G Gilbert (b. 1911), English Stoker 1st Class serving for the Royal Navy from Wimborne, Dorset, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Hood and died on 24th May 1941 in the sinking

HMS Prince of Wales

  • Mr. Alfred Edwin  Gilbert (b. 1905), DSM,, English Chief Yeoman of Signals from England, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and died during the sinking

HMS Repulse

  • Mr. Frederick P Gilbert, British Boy 2nd Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking

RMS Titanic

  • Mr. William Gilbert (d. 1912), aged 47, English Second Class passenger from Carleens, Cornwall who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
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  • Ancestry of the Jameson Gilbert, Joy, Skinner, and Related Families by Bradner Petersen.
  • The Dunlap-Kimbrough-Gilbert Book by Sarah Ada Rasco Crumpton.
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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: Teg yw heddwch
Motto Translation: Peace is pleasing.

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Citations



  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)

Other References

  1. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  2. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  3. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  4. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  5. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  7. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  8. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  9. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  10. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  11. ...

The Gilbert Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Gilbert 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 8 July 2016 at 14:43.

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