Gillespey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Gillespey originated among the descendants of the ancient Pictish clans. It is derived from the Gaelic name 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 Gillespey is regarded as the Gaelic cognate of the Anglo-Saxon personal name Archibald, for reasons that remain obscure.
Early Origins of the Gillespey family
The surname Gillespey 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.
Important Dates for the Gillespey family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gillespey research. Another 214 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1175, 1228, 1229, 1617, 1675, 1613, 1648, 1648, 1776, 1825 and are included under the topic Early Gillespey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Gillespey Spelling Variations
During the Middle Ages, there was no basic set of rules and scribes wrote according to sound. The correct spelling of Scottish names were further compromised after many haphazard translations from Gaelic to English and back. Spelling variations of the name Gillespey include Gillespie, Gilaspy, Gilaspie, Gilespie, Gilespy, Gillaspey, Gillaspie, Gillaspy, Gillespay, Gillespee, Gillespery, Gillespey, Gillespie, Gillespy, Gillispey and many more.
Early Notables of the Gillespey family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the Clan at this time was Patrick Gillespie (1617-1675), a Scottish minister, strong Covenanter, and Principal of Glasgow University by the support of Oliver Cromwell; George Gillespie (1613-1648), Scottish clergyman who in 1648 became minister...
Another 36 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gillespey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Gillespey family to Ireland
Some of the Gillespey family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 61 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Gillespey migration to the United States
Scots left their country by the thousands to travel to Australia and North America. Desperate for freedom and an opportunity to fend for themselves, many paid huge fees and suffered under terrible conditions on long voyages. Still, for those who made the trip, freedom and opportunity awaited. In North America, many fought their old English oppressors in the American War of Independence. In recent years, Scottish heritage has been an increasingly important topic, as Clan societies and other organizations have renewed people's interest in their history. An examination of passenger and immigration lists shows many early settlers bearing the name of Gillespey:
Typical Gillespey Emigration from the United Kingdom to North America
Gillespey Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Thomas Gillespey, who landed in South Carolina in 1803 
- James Gillespey, who arrived in South Carolina in 1815 
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- ^ 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)