Gillie History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Dalriadan clans of ancient Scotland spawned the ancestors of the Gillie family. Their name comes from the Gaelic words "gille Iose," which means "servant of Jesus."

Early Origins of the Gillie family

The surname Gillie was first found in Lothian, where a member of the family was a witness to the charter, by King David I, to the Abbey of Holyrood. In 1160, Vhtred Gilise inherited the estates in Lothian. It is also recorded that M. filius Gilise, who was a close confidant of King Malcolm IV of Scotland, was witness to a charter signed at the Abbey of Scone in 1164.

Early History of the Gillie family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gillie research. Another 65 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1264, 1376, 1521, 1747, 1836, 1778 and 1793 are included under the topic Early Gillie History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gillie Spelling Variations

The medieval practice of spelling according to sound and repeated translation between Gaelic and English created many spelling variations of the same name. Gillie has been recorded as Gillies, Gillis, Gillie, Gilly, Gilles, Gillieson and many more.

Early Notables of the Gillie family (pre 1700)

Another 33 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gillie Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Gillie family to Ireland

Some of the Gillie family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Gillie migration to the United States +

Descendents of Dalriadan-Scottish families still populate many communities across North America. They are particularly common in Canada, since many went north as United Empire Loyalists at the time of the American War of Independence. Much later, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the highland games and Clan societies that now dot North America sprang up, allowing many Scots to recover their lost national heritage. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Gillie, or a variant listed above:

Gillie Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • James Gillie, who settled in Pennsylvania in 1774
  • James Gillie, aged 21, settled in Philadelphia in 1774
Gillie Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Gillie, who settled in Philadelphia in 1851
  • Robert Gillie, who arrived in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1886 [1]

New Zealand Gillie 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:

Gillie Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Gillie, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Robert Henderson" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 3rd September 1860 [2]
  • Mr. Gillie, Scottish settler with 2 daughters travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Robert Henderson" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 3rd September 1860 [2]
  • Mr. John Gillie, (b. 1855), aged 24, Scottish shepherd, from Haddington travelling from Clyde aboard the ship "Nelson" arriving in Invercargill, Southland, South Island, New Zealand on 28th August 1879 [3]
  • Miss Jessie Gillie, (b. 1855), aged 24, Scottish settler, from Haddington travelling from Clyde aboard the ship "Nelson" arriving in Invercargill, Southland, South Island, New Zealand on 28th August 1879 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Gillie (post 1700) +

  • George W. Gillie (1880-1963), U.S. Representative from Indiana
  • Frederick Montague Gillie (1895-1974), American football player
  • Betty Gillie (1908-1998), pioneer American aviatrix
  • Isabel Gillie (b. 1970), American actress and author
  • Francis Blaise Gillie, Senior Lecturer in Town and Regional Planning, American University of Beirut, Lebanon
  • George W. Gillie (1880-1963), American Republican politician, Veterinarian; Allen County Sheriff, 1917; U.S. Representative from Indiana 4th District, 1939-49; Defeated, 1948 [4]
  • Elizabeth B. Gillie, American Republican politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from New Haven; Elected 1946 [4]
  • David Gillie, American Libertarian politician, Candidate for Presidential Elector for Michigan, 1984, 1988, 1992 [4]
  • Ricky Gillie (b. 1976), Scottish professional footballer
  • Sir William George Gillie (1898-1973), renowned Scottish landscape and still life painter
  • ... (Another 14 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


The Gillie Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Touch not the cat bot a glove
Motto Translation: Touch not the cat without a glove


  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  3. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 23) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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