Gillies History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Clan from whom the Gillies family descends began among the ancient Dalriadan kingdom of the west coast of Scotland. Their name comes from the Gaelic words "gille Iose," which means "servant of Jesus."

Early Origins of the Gillies family

The surname Gillies 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 Gillies family

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

Gillies Spelling Variations

Historical recordings of the name Gillies include many spelling variations. They are the result of repeated translations of the name from Gaelic to English and inconsistencies in spelling rules. They include Gillies, Gillis, Gillie, Gilly, Gilles, Gillieson and many more.

Early Notables of the Gillies family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Gillies family to Ireland

Some of the Gillies 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 Gillies migration to the United States +

Significant portions of the populations of both the United States and Canada are still made up of the ancestors of Dalriadan families. Some of those in Canada originally settled the United States, but went north as United Empire Loyalists in the American War of Independence. The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw the ancestors of many Scots on both sides of the border begin to recover their collective national heritage through Clan societies and highland games. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Gillies Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Gillies, who arrived in America in 1620 [1]
Gillies Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Mary Gillies, who landed in New York in 1738 [1]
  • Catharine Gillies, who landed in New York in 1739 [1]
  • Janet Gillies, who landed in New York in 1739 [1]
  • Robert Gillies, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1766 [1]
  • Robert Gillies, who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1766
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Gillies Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Derrick Gillies, who settled in Philadelphia in 1815
  • A. B. Gillies, aged 33, settled in New York in 1823

Canada Gillies migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Gillies Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Jesse Gillies U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [2]
Gillies Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Janet Gillies, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1801
  • May Gillies, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1801
  • Angus Gillies, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1801
  • James Gillies, aged 35, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Perseus" in 1834
  • Alex Gillies, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1848
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Gillies migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Gillies Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Gillies, Scottish convict who was convicted in Edinburgh, Scotland for 14 years, transported aboard the "Asia" on 19th November 1827, settling in New South Wales, Australia [3]
  • Mr. William Gillies, Scottish convict who was convicted in Aberdeen, Scotland for 7 years, transported aboard the "Augusta Jessie" on 10th August 1838, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [4]
  • Archibald Gillies, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Tomatin" in 1840 [5]
  • Mr. Angus Gillies, English convict who was convicted in London, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Bangalore" on 28th March 1848, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) from Bermuda [6]
  • Andrew Gillies, aged 50, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Medina" [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Gillies 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:

Gillies Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Archibald Gillies, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Robert Gillies, aged 28, a labourer, who arrived in Otago aboard the ship "Philip Laing" in 1848
  • Margaret Gillies, aged 28, who arrived in Otago aboard the ship "Philip Laing" in 1848
  • Robert Gillies, aged 8, who arrived in Otago aboard the ship "Philip Laing" in 1848
  • John Gillies, aged 6, who arrived in Otago aboard the ship "Philip Laing" in 1848
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Gillies (post 1700) +

  • Juanita Gillies, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Michigan, 1944 [8]
  • James Gillies, American politician, Prohibition Candidate for Presidential Elector for New York, 1920 [8]
  • Fred M. Gillies, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Illinois, 1964 [8]
  • John Gillies (1747-1836), Scottish historian and classical scholar, Historiographer Royal for Scotland [9]
  • Dr. John Gillies (1712-1796), Scottish theological writer, born at the manse of Careston, near Brechin, where his father, John Gillies, was minister, and after prosecuting his literary and divinity courses and being employed as tutor in several families of note
  • Adam Gillies (1760-1842), Lord Gillies, Scottish judge, born in 1760, youngest son of Robert Gillies of Little Keithock, Forfarshire, and brother of Dr. John Gillies [q. v.], historian
  • Sir William George Gillies (1898-1973), Scottish landscape and still life painter
  • Duncan Gillies (1834-1903), Scottish-born, Australian colonial politician, 14th Premier of Victoria
  • Thomas Bannatyne Gillies (1828-1889), Scottish-born, New Zealand politician
  • Valerie Gillies (b. 1948), Scottish poet, winner of the Eric Gregory Award in 1976
  • ... (Another 9 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


The Gillies 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. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  3. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 8th January 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1827
  4. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retrieved 23rd August 2020, Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/augusta-jessie)
  5. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) TOMATIN 1840. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1840Tomatin.htm
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 15th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/bangalore
  7. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 3 February 1852. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) MEDINA 1852. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/medina1852.shtml
  8. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 23) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  9. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 June 2020


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