Gilham History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The Norman Conquest of England of 1066 added many new elements to the already vibrant culture. Among these were thousands of new names. The Gilham name is derived from the Old French given name Guillaume. The name Guillaume was modified into two forms after arriving in England: Gillham and William.

Early Origins of the Gilham family

The surname Gilham was first found in Suffolk where Giliana was listed in the Feet of Fines in 1198. [1] Many of the family stayed in Normandy as in the same year, Udon Galien was listed there. [2] Due the prevalence to the often personal name, the name was scattered in early censuses as show by the Rotuli Hundredorum of 1279 which listed Gilianus de Levekenore Buckinghamshire and Adam filius Jellion in Cheshire. [1]

Years later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed the name as both a personal name and a surname: Petnis Gillam; Willelmus Giliam; Giliaum Spyser, 1379; and Ricardus Gillumman, i.e. the servant of Gillura. [3]

Important Dates for the Gilham family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gilham research. Another 95 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1276, 1283, 1379, 1524, 1636, 1682, 1665, 1701, 1690 and 1699 are included under the topic Early Gilham History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gilham Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Gillham, Gillam, Gilliam, Gilham, Gillem, Gillum, Giliam, Gwillam, Gwillham, Gwilliam, Gwilham, Gyllham, Gylham and many more.

Early Notables of the Gilham family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Zachariah Gillam (Guillam) (1636-1682) American sea captain involved in the early days of the Hudson's Bay Company. Benjamin Gillam, American sea captain, brother of Zachariah, who in 1665 commanded the Charles which brought Radisson and Groseilliers to England where they began the foundation of the Hudson's Bay Company; and James Gilliam, also known as James Kelly, (died 1701), an English pirate active in...
Another 70 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gilham Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gilham migration to the United States

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Gilham or a variant listed above were:

Gilham Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Susan Gilham, who made her home in Jamaica in 1661
  • Susan Gilham, who settled in Jamaica in 1661
  • John Gilham, who settled in Jamaica in 1680
  • John Gilham who settled in Barbados in 1680
Gilham Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Joseph Gilham, who settled in Virginia in 1738

Gilham 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:

Gilham Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Gilham, (b. 1841), aged 34, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Helen Denny" arriving in Hawkes Bay, Napier, North Island, New Zealand on 20th September 1875 [4]
  • Mrs. Mary A. Gilham, (b. 1843), aged 32, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Helen Denny" arriving in Hawkes Bay, Napier, North Island, New Zealand on 20th September 1875 [4]
  • Mr. Frederick Gilham, (b. 1865), aged 10, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Helen Denny" arriving in Hawkes Bay, Napier, North Island, New Zealand on 20th September 1875 [4]
  • Miss Elizabeth Gilham, (b. 1868), aged 7, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Helen Denny" arriving in Hawkes Bay, Napier, North Island, New Zealand on 20th September 1875 [4]
  • Miss Agnes Gilham, (b. 1871), aged 4, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Helen Denny" arriving in Hawkes Bay, Napier, North Island, New Zealand on 20th September 1875 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Gilham (post 1700)

  • William Henry Gilham (1818-1872), American Confederate Army soldier, teacher, chemist, and author
  • George Gilham (1899-1937), American Major League Baseball catcher who played from 1920 to 1921 for the St. Louis Cardinals
  • Anthony "Tony" Allen Gilham (b. 1979), British auto racing driver, founder of the Tony Gilham Racing team
  • Stephen Gilham (b. 1984), Australian rules football player with the Greater Western Sydney Football Club
  • Cheyrl "Cherri" Gilham (b. 1944), British comedy actress, one of the first Page 3 girls, known for Girls Come First (1975), The Man Who Couldn't Get Enough (1974) and What's on Next? (1976)

Historic Events for the Gilham family

HMS Cornwall
  • Ronald Thomas Gilham (d. 1942), British Able Seaman aboard the HMS Cornwall when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking [5]

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Citations

  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  5. ^ Force Z Survivors Crew List HMS Cornwall (Retrieved 2018, February 13th) - Retrieved from https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listcornwallcrew.html#A
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