Gillfilliyn History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The roots of the name Gillfilliyn are found among the Pictish clans of ancient Scotland. The name 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 Gillfilliyn family

The surname Gillfilliyn 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 Gillfilliyn family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gillfilliyn 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 Gillfilliyn History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gillfilliyn Spelling Variations

Although Medieval Scotland lacked a basic set of spelling rules, which meant that scribes recorded names according to their sounds it was not uncommon for the names of a father and son to be recorded differently. As a result, there are many spelling variations of Scottish single names. Gillfilliyn has been written Gilfillan, Gilfilland, Gilfillen, Gilfillian, Gilfillin, Gilfillon, Gillfillan, Gillfilland, Gillfillen, Gillfillian and many more.

Early Notables of the Gillfilliyn 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...
Another 62 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gillfilliyn Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Gillfilliyn family

Thousands of Scots left their home country to travel to Ireland or Australia, or to cross the Atlantic for the North American colonies. The difficult crossing was an enormous hurdle, but those who survived found freedom and opportunity in ample measure. Some Scots even fought for their freedom in the American War of Independence. This century, their ancestors have become aware of the illustrious history of the Scots in North America and at home through Clan societies and other organizations. Passenger and immigration lists show many early and influential immigrants bearing the name Gillfilliyn: 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..



  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)


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