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The ancestors of the Clashbey family were part of an ancient Scottish tribe called the Picts. The name Clashbey 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 Clashbey is regarded as the Gaelic cognate of the Anglo-Saxon personal name Archibald, for reasons that remain obscure.

Early Origins of the Clashbey family


The surname Clashbey 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.


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Early History of the Clashbey family

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Early History of the Clashbey family


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Clashbey research.
Another 258 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1175, 1228, 1229, 1617, 1675, 1613, 1648, 1648, 1776, 1825 and are included under the topic Early Clashbey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Clashbey Spelling Variations

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Clashbey Spelling Variations


The appearance of the printing press and the first dictionaries in the last few hundred years did much to standardize spelling. Prior to that time scribes spelled according to sound, a practice that resulted in many spelling variations. Clashbey has been spelled Gillespie, Gilaspy, Gilaspie, Gilespie, Gilespy, Gillaspey, Gillaspie, Gillaspy, Gillespay, Gillespee, Gillespery, Gillespey, Gillespie, Gillespy, Gillispey and many more.

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Early Notables of the Clashbey family (pre 1700)

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

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Migration of the Clashbey family to Ireland

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Migration of the Clashbey family to Ireland


Some of the Clashbey family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 127 words (9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Migration of the Clashbey family to the New World and Oceana

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Migration of the Clashbey family to the New World and Oceana


The expense of the crossing to the North American colonies seemed small beside the difficulties of remaining in Scotland. It was a long and hard trip, but at its end lay the reward of freedom. Some Scots remained faithful to England and called themselves United Empire Loyalists, while others fought in the American War of Independence. Much of this lost Scottish heritage has been recovered in the last century through Clan societies and other patriotic Scottish organizations. A search of immigration and passenger lists revealed many important, early immigrants to North America bearing the name of Clashbey: 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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