Gile History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Gile family migrated to England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The surname Gile is based on the medieval given name Giles. This name is derived from the Greek aigidion, which means kid, or young goat.

Another source claims the family were originally Norman from "La Gile or Gueilles, Normandy as the Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae lists Robert de Gueilles of Normandy 1198. [1]

Early Origins of the Gile family

The surname Gile was first found in the Domesday Book of 1086 where Gilo and Ghilo were both listed. [2] Shortly after Wido filius Gisel was listed in Lincolnshire as was Gisle, Egidius, Gilo, Gile in 1183-1187.

About this time, the first records of the name as a surname appeared: Ailward, Godfrey Gile in the Pipe Rolls for Berkshire and Northumberland 1176, 1191; William Gyles in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex in 1296; William Gilis in the Assize Rolls for Kent in 1317; and Nicholas Gisel in Suffolk in 1346. [3]

"The Domesday Book Gilo has been identified with Old German Gilo, equivalent to Gislebertus, and this is supported by the forms Gisel, Gisle. The Latinization of this by Egidius shows that the scribe associated the name with Giles, a difficult name, regularly translated Egidius, from Greek ayíiov 'kid'. The name of the 7th-century Provengal hermit St Ægidius spread widely and survives as Gidi, Gidy in southern France, as Gili, Gilli in the Alpes-Maritimes, elsewhere as Gile, Gille. The popularity of this form in England is proved both by the number of churches dedicated to St Giles and by the frequent medieval Egidius." [3]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 include: Egidius, or Gilius Gowsell, Lincolnshire; Jordan filius Egidii, Lincolnshire; and Osbert filius Egidii, Lincolnshire. [4]

Further to the north in Scotland, the first record was of William Gilis who gave his land of Mosplat to the church of Lanark c. 1214. But we must wait over three hundred years to find the next references: Robert Geliss was chaplain in 1527, and Jhone Gelis was one of an inquest on lands of Gowane (Govan) in the same year. [5]

Early History of the Gile family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gile research. Another 184 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1273, 1296, 1317, 1346, 1615, 1681, 1741, 1564, 1576, 1680, 1755, 1652, 1621, 1644, 1640, 1709, 1634, 1567 and 1571 are included under the topic Early Gile History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gile Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Gile include Giles, Gyles, Jiles and others.

Early Notables of the Gile family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Gyles (ca.1680-1755), American interpreter and soldier, best known for his account of his experiences with the Malecite tribes. Mascal Gyles (died 1652), was an English vicar of Ditchling, Sussex, from 1621 to 1644; and Henry Gyles or Giles (1640?-1709), was an English...
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gile Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Gile family to Ireland

Some of the Gile family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 47 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Gile migration to the United States +

In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Giles to arrive on North American shores:

Gile Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Edward Gile, who landed in Salem, Massachusetts in 1634 [6]
  • Anthony Gile, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1642 [6]
  • John Gile, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1654 [6]
Gile Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • B Gile, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [6]
  • D Gile, who arrived in San Francisco, Cai in 1850 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Gile (post 1700) +

  • Selden Connor Gile (1877-1947), American painter
  • Ransom Henry Gile (1836-1916), American settler in Scandia, Kansas, born in Springfield, Massachusetts who after being wounded several times in Civil War battles, he was discharged in November 1865 and took a homestead of eighty acres in Republic County
  • Kenneth "Ken" Gile (b. 1947), American Chief Operating Officer of Flydubai, a low-cost carrier owned by the Dubai government
  • Frank S. Gile (1847-1898), Union Navy sailor in the American Civil War, recipient of the Medal of Honor for helping to free his grounded ship
  • Donald Loren Gile (b. 1935), American Major League Baseball utility first baseman/catcher who played from 1959 to 1962 for the Boston Red Sox
  • Dennis "Joseph" Gile (b. 1981), former American NFL football quarterback
  • Clement D. Gile, American fighter pilot and flying ace in the U.S. Navy, during World War II, credited with 8 aerial victories
  • Gile Farnaby (1563-1640), English composer


The Gile 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: Pensez a moi
Motto Translation: Think of me.


  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  6. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)


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