Gilfilliand History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Picts of ancient Scotland were the tribe of the ancestors of the Gilfilliand family. The name Gilfilliand is derived from the Gaelic name Gille Fhaolain, which means servant of St. Fillan. Patronymic names often substituted the name of a saint or other revered religious figure in place of a devout bearer's actual father.

Early Origins of the Gilfilliand family

The surname Gilfilliand was first found in Fife, where "several individuals bearing this name appear in Scots records in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. In the last quarter of the twelfth century Gillefali Kelde (i.e. a Culdee) witnessed a grant by Turpin, bishop of Brechin, of a toft of Strukatherach to the Abbey of Arnbroath. Gillefalyn held land in Lauderdale, c. 1213-1214. Gilfelan Mac Guostuf witnessed a charter by Maldoune, 3d earl of Levenax, 1217 and about 1213-1214 Gilfalyn possessed part of Vlfkelystun, now Oxton, in Lauderdale." [1]

Early History of the Gilfilliand family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gilfilliand research. Another 211 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1246, 1250, 1275, 1296, 1329, 1471, 1477, 1516, 1559, 1613, 1798, 1850, 1798, 1811, 1818, 1797, 1874 and 1797 are included under the topic Early Gilfilliand History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gilfilliand Spelling Variations

Scribes in the Middle Ages did not have access to a set of spelling rules. They spelled according to sound, the result was a great number of spelling variations. In various documents, Gilfilliand has been spelled Gilfillan, Gilfilland, Gilfillen, Gilfillian, Gilfillin, Gilfillon, Gillfillan, Gillfilland, Gillfillen, Gillfillian and many more.

Early Notables of the Gilfilliand family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan at this time was Robert Gilfillan (1798-1850), Scotttish poet, born 7 July 1798 at Dunfermline and was the son of a master weaver. " In 1811, on the removal of the family to Leith, Gilfillan was there apprenticed to a cooper, whom he served, with a somewhat languid interest, for seven years. For three years after 1818 he...
Another 62 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gilfilliand Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Gilfilliand family

The cruelties suffered under the new government forced many to leave their ancient homeland for the freedom of the North American colonies. Those who arrived safely found land, freedom, and opportunity for the taking. These hardy settlers gave their strength and perseverance to the young nations that would become the United States and Canada. Immigration and passenger lists have shown many early immigrants bearing the name Gilfilliand: John Gilfillan who settled in New Jersey in 1685; another John arrived in Philadelphia in 1832; others in 1856, 1863, 1866, and 1868; Robert and Thomas also arrived in the same port..



  1. ^ 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)


Houseofnames.com on Facebook