Gillespee History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Gillespee is derived from the Gaelic "Mac Gille Easbuig," a patronymic from Gilleasbuig, which means "the bishop's servant." The Gaelic word "easbuig" is borrowed from the Latin word "episcopus," which means "bishop." Patronymic names often substituted the name of a saint or other revered religious figure in place of a devout bearer's actual father. The name Gillespee is regarded as the Gaelic cognate of the Anglo-Saxon personal name Archibald, for reasons that remain obscure.

Early Origins of the Gillespee family

The surname Gillespee was first found in Aberdeenshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Obar Dheathain), a historic county, and present day Council Area of Aberdeen, located in the Grampian region of northeastern Scotland. For the origin of the name, Sir Thomas Innes tells us that the name is derived from Sliochd Gillies a Chieftain of the MacPhersons in Invershie. He places this branch of the MacPhersons, as descendants of Elias MacPherson, brother of Kenneth MacPherson, ancestor of the MacPherson Clan. However, Gillies was recorded as living approximately 1250-1300, and this record is predated by researches by two other historians who place a Ewan filius Gillespie as witnessing a Charter by Alwoin, Earl of Lennox, granted in 1175. The connection between this earlier record and the MacPherson line is vague and uncertain but most historians agree that the Gillespie are of the Clan Chattan.

Early History of the Gillespee family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gillespee research. Another 214 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1175, 1228, 1229, 1613, 1648, 1776, and 1825 are included under the topic Early Gillespee History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gillespee Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Gillespie, Gilaspy, Gilaspie, Gilespie, Gilespy, Gillaspey, Gillaspie, Gillaspy, Gillespay, Gillespee, Gillespery, Gillespey, Gillespie, Gillespy, Gillispey and many more.

Early Notables of the Gillespee family (pre 1700)

Another 50 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gillespee Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Gillespee family

Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: Matthew Gilespy settled in Charleston in 1767; James Gilespie arrived in Philadelphia in 1861; Neil Gillespie with his wife Mary arrived in New York State in 1739 with his two sons, Gilbert and Angus.



The Gillespee Motto +

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: Tu certas salutis anchora
Motto Translation: A sure anchor of safety.


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