Gillanders History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Gillanders surname is a reduced Anglicized form of the Irish Gaelic Mac Gille Fhaoláin, which means "son of the servant of St Faolán." While the name may have originated in Ireland, this line was extant by the beginning of the 17th century, only to find many of the family to return to Ireland about 100 years later with the Plantation of Ulster.

Early Origins of the Gillanders family

The surname Gillanders was first found in Midlothian, where Gilbert McGillelane or McGillolane was listed as captain of Clan Connan of Galloway during the reign of David II (1324-1371). Also during this time, Ingeram M'Gillelan held a lease of lands in the barony of Redcastle in 1372. [1]

Early History of the Gillanders family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gillanders research. Another 89 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1206, 1667, 1735, 1731, 1735, and 1847 are included under the topic Early Gillanders History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gillanders Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Gilleland, Gillieland, Gillsland, Gilsland, Gillesland, Gillerlaine, Gillerland, Gillisland, Gillan, Gillander, Gilander, MacGillanders and many more.

Early Notables of the Gillanders family (pre 1700)

Another 27 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gillanders Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Gillanders family to Ireland

Some of the Gillanders family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 127 words (9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Gillanders migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Gillanders Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • C. Gillanders who settled in Baltimore in 1822

New Zealand Gillanders 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:

Gillanders Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Gillanders, Canadian settler travelling from Middle River, Victoria County, Cape Breton, Canada with 11 family members aboard the ship "Gertrude" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 22nd December 1856 [2]
  • Mr. Hector Gillanders, (b. 1838), aged 24, British shepherd travelling from London aboard the ship "Echunga" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 24th December 1862 [2]
  • Mrs. May Gillanders, (b. 1841), aged 21, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Echunga" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 24th December 1862 [2]
  • Donald Gillanders, aged 25, a shepherd, who arrived in Hawkes Bay aboard the ship "Inverness" in 1875
  • John Gillanders, aged 23, who arrived in Hawkes Bay aboard the ship "Inverness" in 1875
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Gillanders (post 1700) +

  • John David Gillanders (b. 1939), former American swimmer, won a bronze medal at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome
  • Bronwyn May Gillanders (b. 1963), Australian marine scientist, President of the Australian Society for Fish Biology from 2012 to 2013
  • Brendan Gillanders (b. 1990), Canadian football fullback for the Ottawa Redblacks
  • Lieutenant John Gordon Gillanders (1895-1946), Canadian World War I flying ace from London, Ontario, credited with five aerial victories
  • Ken Gillanders OAM, Australian botanist, horticulturist, nurseryman and plantman
  • John Gillanders Turriff (1855-1930), Canadian politician, Member of the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories for Moose Mountain (1884-1888), Member of Parliament Assiniboia East (1904-1907)


  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)
  2. ^ 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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