Gilfilliyn History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The Picts were the ancient Scottish tribe where the ancestors of the Gilfilliyn family lived. The name Gilfilliyn comes 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 Gilfilliyn family
The surname Gilfilliyn 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." 
Early History of the Gilfilliyn family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gilfilliyn 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 Gilfilliyn History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Gilfilliyn Spelling Variations
When the first dictionaries were invented in the last few hundred years, spelling gradually became standardized. Before that time, scribes spelled according to sound. Names were often recorded under different spelling variations every time they were written. Gilfilliyn has been written Gilfillan, Gilfilland, Gilfillen, Gilfillian, Gilfillin, Gilfillon, Gillfillan, Gillfilland, Gillfillen, Gillfillian and many more.
Early Notables of the Gilfilliyn 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...
Migration of the Gilfilliyn family
The crossing to North America did not seem so great in comparison with the hardships many Scots endured at home. It was long, expensive, and cramped, but also rewarding. North America offered land and the chance for settlers to prove themselves in a new place. And many did prove themselves as they fought to forge a new nation in the American War of Independence. The ancestors of those Scots can now experience much of their once-lost heritage through the Clan societies and highland games that have sprung up across North America in the last century. A search of immigration and passenger lists revealed many important, early immigrants to North America bearing the name of Gilfilliyn: 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..