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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: English, Irish

Where did the Irish Gorman family come from? What is the Irish Gorman family crest and coat of arms? When did the Gorman family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Gorman family history?

Many variations of the name Gorman have evolved since the time of its initial creation. In Gaelic it appeared as Mac Gormain, derived from the word "gorm," which means "blue."

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Within the archives researched, many different spelling variations of the surname Gorman were found. These included One reason for the many variations is that scribes and church officials often spelled an individual's name as it sounded. This imprecise method often led to many versions. Gorman, MacGorman, O'Gorman and others.

First found in County Clare, where O'Gorman was chief of Tullichrin, a territory comprising parts of the baronies of Moyarta and Ibrackan. They claim descendancy through the O'Connor pedigree, specifically through Daire, a younger brother of Ros Failgeach. He was the second son of Mor, the King of Leinster and the 109th Monarch of Ireland. The family were the Chiefs of Ibrckan in County Claire. [1] The Mac (Mc) prefix is rarely found today due to the fact that in the early nineteenth century native Irish "were in complete subjection." [2]


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gorman research. Another 179 words(13 lines of text) covering the years 117 and 1172 are included under the topic Early Gorman History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Gorman Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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During the 19th century thousands of impoverished Irish families made the long journey to British North America and the United States. These people were leaving a land that had become beset with poverty, lack of opportunity, and hunger. In North America, they hoped to find land, work, and political and religious freedoms. Although the majority of the immigrants that survived the long sea passage did make these discoveries, it was not without much perseverance and hard work: by the mid-19th century land suitable for agriculture was short supply, especially in British North America, in the east; the work available was generally low paying and physically taxing construction or factory work; and the English stereotypes concerning the Irish, although less frequent and vehement, were, nevertheless, present in the land of freedom, liberty, and equality for all men. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. Research into passenger and immigration lists has brought forth evidence of the early members of the Gorman family in North America:

Gorman Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Mathew Gorman, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746
  • William Gorman who settled in New England in 1747
  • Thomas Gorman, who landed in America in 1760-1763
  • James Gorman, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1763
  • William Gorman, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1766


Gorman Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Mustie Gorman, who landed in America in 1801
  • William Gorman settled in Boston in 1804
  • rhos Gorman, who landed in Wilmington, North Carolina in 1804
  • Mrs. Gorman, who landed in Newport, Rhode Island in 1811
  • Dennis Gorman, who landed in Newport, Rhode Island in 1811


Gorman Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Joseph Gorman, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1901

Gorman Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Mr. Barney Gorman U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway [Shelburne], Nova Scotia on December 13, 1783 was passenger number 378 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on November 14, 1783 at East River, New York
  • Mrs. Rebecca Gorman U.E. who settled in Eastern District [Cornwall], Ontario c. 1784

Gorman Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Daniel Gorman, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1821
  • Elizabeth Gorman, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1821
  • Honors Gorman, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1828
  • Richard Gorman, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1828
  • William Gorman, aged 27, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the brig "William" from Cork


Gorman Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Joseph Gorman, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Argyle" on March 5th, 1831, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
  • Hannah Gorman, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on December 14, 1835, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
  • Norey Gorman arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Brightman" in 1840
  • Margaret Gorman arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Inconstant" in 1849
  • Mary Gorman arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Inconstant" in 1849


Gorman Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • James Gorman arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Nimroud" in 1860
  • Elizabeth Gorman arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Nimroud" in 1860
  • John Gorman arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Nimroud" in 1860
  • Joseph Gorman arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Nimroud" in 1860
  • W. Gorman arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Nimroud" in 1860


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  • Arthur Pue Gorman (1839-1906), American politician and Senator
  • Cliff Gorman (1936-2002), American actor
  • James Gorman (b. 1859), American winner of a gold and bronze Olympic medal for shooting at 1908 games
  • William Moore "Terence" Gorman (1923-2003), Irish economist and academic
  • Sir John Reginald Gorman (b. 1923), Northern Irish politician
  • James Gorman VC (1834-1882), English recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • Lynne Gorman (1919-1989), Canadian actress
  • Brigadier Sir Eugene Gorman (1891-1973), Australian Chief Inspector of Army Administration from 1942 to 1945
  • Master Edmund Alexander  Gorman (1914-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who survived the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917 but later died due to injuries
  • Mr. Alex  Gorman, Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917

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  • The Gorman Family History: Including the Genealogy of Their Rider and Armstrong Ancestors by Edith Lynn Mlaker.
  • James Henry Gorman of Haverhill, Massachusetts, His Forebears, Family and Descendants by Arthur Ellsworth Gorman.
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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: Primi et ultimi in bello
Motto Translation: First and last in war.

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  1. ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
  2. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)

Other References

  1. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  2. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  3. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1978. Print.
  4. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  5. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
  6. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  7. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  8. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  9. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  10. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
  11. ...

The Gorman Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Gorman 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 April 2015 at 09:04.

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