Gillespy History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Gillespy 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 Gillespy is regarded as the Gaelic cognate of the Anglo-Saxon personal name Archibald, for reasons that remain obscure.

Early Origins of the Gillespy family

The surname Gillespy 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 Gillespy family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gillespy 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 Gillespy History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gillespy 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 Gillespy family (pre 1700)

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

Gillespy migration to the United States

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Gillespy Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Gillespy, who landed in America in 1795 [1]
Gillespy Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Patt Gillespy, aged 35, who landed in New Castle in 1804 [1]
  • Jane Gillespy, who arrived in America in 1805 [1]
  • George Gillespy, who landed in America in 1807 [1]
  • Andrew Gillespy, who landed in America in 1810 [1]
  • Ann Gillespy, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1812 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Gillespy migration to Australia

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Gillespy Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Eliza Gillespy, aged 27, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "James Fernie" [2]


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ South Australian Register Friday 17th November 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) James Fernie 1854. Retrieved
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