Show ContentsGillfillan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

In ancient Scotland, the ancestors of the Gillfillan family were part of a tribe called the Picts. The name Gillfillan 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 Gillfillan family

The surname Gillfillan 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 Gillfillan family

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

Gillfillan Spelling Variations

The appearance of the printing press and the first dictionaries in the last few hundred years did much to standardize spelling. Prior to that time scribes spelled according to sound, a practice that resulted in many spelling variations. Gillfillan has been spelled Gilfillan, Gilfilland, Gilfillen, Gilfillian, Gilfillin, Gilfillon, Gillfillan, Gillfilland, Gillfillen, Gillfillian and many more.

Early Notables of the Gillfillan family

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 Gillfillan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Gillfillan migration to the United States +

The expense of the crossing to the North American colonies seemed small beside the difficulties of remaining in Scotland. It was a long and hard trip, but at its end lay the reward of freedom. Some Scots remained faithful to England and called themselves United Empire Loyalists, while others fought in the American War of Independence. Much of this lost Scottish heritage has been recovered in the last century through Clan societies and other patriotic Scottish organizations. A search of immigration and passenger lists revealed many important, early immigrants to North America bearing the name of Gillfillan:

Gillfillan Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Francis Gillfillan, aged 25, who arrived in New York in 1896 aboard the ship "Normannia" from Hamburg, Germany 2
Gillfillan Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mary Gillfillan, who arrived in New York in 1906 aboard the ship "Oceanic" from Liverpool, England 2
  • Jay Edward Gillfillan, aged 25, who arrived in New York in 1919 aboard the ship "La Savoie" from Le Havre, France 2

  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. Ellis Island Search retrieved 15th November 2022. Retrieved from on Facebook