McGillespie History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Picts were the ancient Scottish tribe where the ancestors of the McGillespie family lived. The name McGillespie comes 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 McGillespie is regarded as the Gaelic cognate of the Anglo-Saxon personal name Archibald, for reasons that remain obscure.

Early Origins of the McGillespie family

The surname McGillespie 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 McGillespie family

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

McGillespie Spelling Variations

When the first dictionaries were invented in the last few hundred years, spelling gradually became standardized. Before that time, scribes spelled according to sound. Names were often recorded under different spelling variations every time they were written. McGillespie has been written Gillespie, Gilaspy, Gilaspie, Gilespie, Gilespy, Gillaspey, Gillaspie, Gillaspy, Gillespay, Gillespee, Gillespery, Gillespey, Gillespie, Gillespy, Gillispey and many more.

Early Notables of the McGillespie 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 McGillespie Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the McGillespie family to Ireland

Some of the McGillespie 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.

Migration of the McGillespie family

The crossing to North America did not seem so great in comparison with the hardships many Scots endured at home. It was long, expensive, and cramped, but also rewarding. North America offered land and the chance for settlers to prove themselves in a new place. And many did prove themselves as they fought to forge a new nation in the American War of Independence. The ancestors of those Scots can now experience much of their once-lost heritage through the Clan societies and highland games that have sprung up across North America in the last century. A search of immigration and passenger lists revealed many important, early immigrants to North America bearing the name of McGillespie: 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.



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