Show ContentsGilling History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Gilling family

The surname Gilling was first found in Yorkshire at either Gilling East or Gilling West, two villages that both date back to the Domesday Book of 1086. Gilling West is thought to be older as there are records of it Saxon times as Ingetlingum. [1]

Gilling Abbey, a medieval Anglo-Saxon monastery is generally thought to have been located there, but some historians believe that it was located in Gilling East. The abbey was founded by Queen Eanflæd, the wife of King Oswiu of Northumbria (c. 612-670.)

"This is a place of great antiquity, and remarkable as the scene of the murder of Oswy, King of Deira, by his host, Oswin of Bernicia; in expiation of which crime, a monastery was founded on the spot by Queen Eanfleda; but not the slightest vestige of it can now be traced. Gilling Castle, situated in a fine park on the west of the village, was built by Alan, Earl of Richmond, to repel the frequent attacks of the Saxons and Danes for the recovery of their lost estates. " [2]

Again, both villages are listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 but with slightly different spellings: Ghellinge (Gilling East); and Ghellinges (Gilling West.) At that time, the lands of Gilling, were held by Count Alan. Literally, the place name means "settlement of the family or followers of a man called Gythla or Getla," from the Old English personal name + "-ingas." [1]

One of the first records of the name as a surname was Grim de Gilling who was listed in the Pipe Rolls for Yorkshire in 1198. A few years later, Gericus de Gilling was listed in the Curia Regis Rolls for Yorkshire in 1208 and later, John de Gilling was listed there in 1306. [3]

Early History of the Gilling family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gilling research. Another 87 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1354, 1662, 1712 and 1725 are included under the topic Early Gilling History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gilling Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Gilling, Gillings, Jilling, Jillings, Gillions, Gillion, Gellion, Jelling, Jellings, Gillian and many more.

Early Notables of the Gilling family

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was

  • Isaac Gilling (1662?-1725), English Presbyterian minister, elder son of Richard Gilling, baker, born at Stogumber, Somersetshire...

New Zealand Gilling 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:

Gilling Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr.. Gilling, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Zealandia" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 8th December 1863 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Gilling (post 1700) +

  • Bridget Sabina Gilling (1922-2009), née Fisher, an English-born Australian feminist and social activist
  • John Gilling (1912-1984), English film director and screenwriter, known for his work on Shadow of the Cat (1961), The Plague of the Zombies (1966), The Reptile (1966)
  • Rebecca Gilling (b. 1953), Australian actress, daughter of Bridget Gilling

  1. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from on Facebook