Early Origins of the Gillenwater family
Donegal (Irish: Dún na nGall), northwest Ireland in the province of Ulster, sometimes referred to as County Tyrconnel, where they held a family seat from ancient times.
Early History of the Gillenwater family
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Gillenwater Spelling Variations
Ireland was a thing of fiction. When a person's name was recorded by one of the few literate scribes, it was up that particular scribe to decide how to spell an individual's name. So a person could have several spelling variations of his name recorded during a single lifetime. Research into the name Gillenwater revealed many variations, including Gillan, Gillinan, Gillen, Gillon, Gillfinan, Gillion and many more.
Early Notables of the Gillenwater family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Gillenwater family to the New World and Oceana
Thousands of Irish left in their homeland in the 18th and 19th centuries to escape the religious and political discrimination they experienced primarily at the hands of the English, and in the search of a plot of land to call their own. These immigrants arrived at the eastern shores of North America, early on settling and breaking the land, and, later, building the bridges, canals, and railroads essential to the emerging nations of United States and Canada. Many others would toil for low wages in the dangerous factories of the day. Although there had been a steady migration of Irish to North America over these years, the greatest influx of Irish immigrants came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the Irish name Gillenwater or a variant listed above: Hugh and Jane Gillan who settled in New York State in 1823; James Gillan settled in New York in 1803; John, Patrick, Thomas and William Gillan settled in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860.
Contemporary Notables of the name Gillenwater (post 1700)
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