Gilberthorpe History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

While surnames were well-known during the English medieval period, Cornish People originally used only a single name. The way in which hereditary surnames came into common use is interesting. Under the Feudal System of government, surnames evolved and they often reflected life on the manor and in the field. Patronymic surnames were derived from given names and were the predominant type of surname among the Celtic peoples of Britain. However, the people of Cornwall provide a surprising exception to this rule, and patronymic surnames are less common among them than other people of Celtic stock, such as their Welsh neighbors. This type of surname blended perfectly with the prevailing Feudal System. One feature that is occasionally found in Cornish surnames of this type is the suffix -oe or -ow; this is derived from the Cornish plural suffix -ow. is a patronymic surname that came from the ancient Germanic personal name Gisilbert, meaning bright pledge.

Early Origins of the Gilberthorpe family

The surname Gilberthorpe was first found in Devon where they were well established shortly after the Conquest with Gilbert of Sempringham (c. 1083-1190,) son of a wealthy Norman knight, a theologian, who became the first Englishman to found a convent; he was canonized in 1202. He was founder of the order that bears his name.

Gilbert the Universal (d. 1134?), was Bishop of London, "is described as 'natione Britannus' by Richard of Poitiers, who probably means a Breton rather than a Welshman." [1]

Gilbert of Louth (d. 1153?), Abbot of Basingwerk, was sent by Gervase, founder and first abbot of Louth in Lincolnshire, about 1140 to an Irish king " in order to obtain a grant to build a monastery in Ireland. The grant was made, and on Gilbert complaining that he did not understand the language, the king gave him as an interpreter the knight Owen, who, according to the legend, had descended into purgatory." [1]

"The Gilbertines were an English order with numerous convents at the time of the suppression." [2]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed the following: Isolda filius Gilberti; Robert Gilbertus; and Eustace filius Gilebert, while the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed: Nicholas Gilberdson; and Johannes Gilberd. [2]

Early History of the Gilberthorpe family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gilberthorpe research. Another 76 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1537, 1583, 1544, 1603, 1613, 1694 and are included under the topic Early Gilberthorpe History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gilberthorpe Spelling Variations

Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Gilbert, Gilbart and others.

Early Notables of the Gilberthorpe family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Sir Robert Gilbert of Somerson; Sir Humphrey Gilbert (c.1537-1583), English soldier and politician, known as the first English colonizer, even though his...
Another 30 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gilberthorpe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Gilberthorpe family to Ireland

Some of the Gilberthorpe family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 57 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Gilberthorpe migration to the United States +

An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Gilberthorpe arrived in North America very early:

Gilberthorpe Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Louisa M Gilberthorpe, aged 30, arrived in New York in 1896 aboard the ship "Lucania" from Liverpool & Queenstown [3]
  • Nellie Gilberthorpe, aged 5, arrived in New York in 1896 aboard the ship "Lucania" from Liverpool & Queenstown [4]
Gilberthorpe Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Elizabeth Gilberthorpe, aged 32, originally from Doncaster, England, arrived in New York in 1911 aboard the ship "Mauretania" from Liverpool, England [5]

New Zealand Gilberthorpe 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:

Gilberthorpe Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Charles Gilberthorpe, (b. 1829), aged 30, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Mary Anne" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 4th August 1859 [6]
  • Mrs. Ann Gilberthorpe, (b. 1833), aged 26, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Mary Anne" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 4th August 1859 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Gilberthorpe (post 1700) +

  • Thomas Gilberthorpe, English politician, Civic mayor of Doncaster in 1933
  • Jeff Gilberthorpe (b. 1939), British-born, Australian artist and author born in Chesterfield, Derbyshire


The Gilberthorpe 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: Teg yw heddwch
Motto Translation: Peace is pleasing.


  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JX7S-7JH : 6 December 2014), Louisa M Gilberthorpe, 27 Jun 1896; citing departure port Liverpool & Queenstown, arrival port New York, ship name Lucania, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  4. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JX7S-7JC : 6 December 2014), Nellie Gilberthorpe, 27 Jun 1896; citing departure port Liverpool & Queenstown, arrival port New York, ship name Lucania, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  5. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JJPP-K24 : 6 December 2014), Elizabeth Gilberthorpe, 27 Jan 1911; citing departure port Liverpool, arrival port New York, ship name Mauretania, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  6. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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