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Gawlege History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Gawlege is a very old Scottish name that may even date back to the Dalriadan tribe of Scotland's western coast and Hebrides islands. It comes from the personal name Tammas, which is the Lowland Scottish form of Thomas. The Gaelic forms of the name are Mac Tamhais or Mac Thamhais, both of which mean son of Tammas.

Early Origins of the Gawlege family

The surname Gawlege was first found in Argyllshire (Gaelic erra Ghaidheal), the region of western Scotland corresponding roughly with the ancient Kingdom of Dál Riata, in the Strathclyde region of Scotland, now part of the Council Area of Argyll and Bute, where the first recorded Chief was MacGilla Tamhais whose name became anglicized as MacIltavish. A later Chief, Collen, called the 'good bald Colin' of Dunardarie, son of Gillespick, was directly descended from the Tavish Corr. Although it is reasonably clear that the Clan was settled in Craignish well before 800 AD, the historical records show little of their activities or family relationships.

Although many historians list this Clan as a sept of the Campbells, and others claim that a relationship to the Frasers existed, there is no good reason to suppose these relationships were the result of anything other than geographical proximity. There has also been some confusion between the MacTavishes and the MacThomas. Here also, the relationship is tenuous - the Thomsons being a separate Border Clan with its own Chief at that time. The Chief of the MacTavishes is considered to be the MacTavish of Dunardrie.

Early History of the Gawlege family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gawlege research.
Another 527 words (38 lines of text) covering the years 1355, 1858, 1997, 1755 and 1815 are included under the topic Early Gawlege History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gawlege Spelling Variations

Spelling variations are a very common occurrence in records of early Scottish names. They result from the repeated and inaccurate translations that many names went through in the course of various English occupations of Scotland. Gawlege has been spelled MacTavish, McTavish, MacTaffish, McTaffish and many more.

Early Notables of the Gawlege family (pre 1700)

Another 40 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gawlege Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Gawlege family to Ireland

Some of the Gawlege family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 79 words (6 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 Gawlege family to the New World and Oceana

Numerous Scottish settlers settled along the east coast of the colonies that would become the United States and Canada. Others traveled to the open country of the west. At the time of the American War of Independence, some remained in the United States, while those who remained loyal to the crown went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The highland games and Clan societies that sprang up across North America in the 20th century have helped many Scots to recover parts of their lost traditions. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Gawleges to arrive in North America: Simon McTavish, who arrived in New York in 1764; Elizabeth McTavish, who came to New York in 1765; John George Mactavish, was on record in Montreal, Canada between the years 1782-1798.

The Gawlege Motto

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: Non oblitus
Motto Translation: Do Not Forget Me after Death.

Gawlege Family Crest Products

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