Gemmill History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Gemmill was derived from the Middle English word "Gamel" which meant the "old one." Gamel was a fairly popular personal name in Scotland particularly in Ayrshire. "Gemell" is also derived from the Italian word for "twins" and it if from this source that heralds derived the ordinary "bars-gemel" which de Picts "twin" bars or a pair of two barrulets, placed close together, referred to as one bar-gemel. Bars gemel were awarded for acts of particular bravery in times of war.

Early Origins of the Gemmill family

The surname Gemmill was first found in Ayrshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Àir), formerly a county in the southwestern Strathclyde region of Scotland, that today makes up the Council Areas of South, East, and North Ayrshire, where one of the first records of the name was Gamel or Gamellus who witnessed charters by Richard, bishop of St. Andrews c. 1173. The same person witnessed a charter by Roger, bishop elect of St. Andrews relating to the church of Haddington c. 1189-1198.

Early History of the Gemmill family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gemmill research. Another 58 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1250, 1600 and 1173 are included under the topic Early Gemmill History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gemmill Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Gemmell, Gemel, Gemell, Gemmel, Gemmill and others.

Early Notables of the Gemmill family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Gemmill Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


New Zealand Gemmill migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Gemmill Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Andrew Gemmill, (b. 1850), aged 24, Scottish farm labourer from Renfrewshire travelling from London aboard the ship "Tweed" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 4th September 1874 [1]

Contemporary Notables of the name Gemmill (post 1700) +

  • R. Scott Gemmill, Canadian-born, American Humanitas Prize nominated television writer and producer
  • Scott Gemmill (b. 1987), Scottish football forward
  • Scotland "Scot" Gemmill (b. 1971), Scottish former professional association footballer, current coach, son of Archie Gemmill
  • Archibald "Archie" Gemmill (b. 1947), Scottish former footballer
  • William Neilson Gemmill (1900-1987), Welsh cricketer
  • Tristan Gemmill (b. 1967), English actor from Tunbridge Wells, Kent, best known for his role as Dr Adam Trueman on Casualty, a British weekly television show on BBC One


  1. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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