Gillingghan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
When the ancestors of the Gillingghan family emigrated to England following the Norman Conquest in 1066 they brought their family name with them. They lived the Old French given name Guillaume. The name Guillaume was modified into two forms after arriving in England: Gillham; from which Gillingham derives; and William. Alternatively, the name could have been a local name as "of Gillingham." In this case, there are three parishes so named in England: a parish in Norfolk, near Beccles; a parish in Dorset, near Shaftesbury; a parish in Kent, near Chatham. 
Early Origins of the Gillingghan family
The surname Gillingghan was first found in Dorset, Norfolk, and in Kent. The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list: Gild de Gillingham in Dorset and Robert de Gyllingham in Norfolk. During the reign of Edward I., Hugh de Gillingham was found in Kent and Robert de Gillingham was found in Norfolk. Richard de Gillyngham, was listed in Somerset, during the reign of Edward III. 
Another source claims the Dorset local was the original. "The Gillinghams evidently derive their name from the Dorset town thus called." 
We will take a moment to discuss the ancient history of Gillingham, Kent. "This ancient village, which is recorded in Domesday Book by the name of Gelingeham, was much exposed to the ravages of the Danes; and it is said that 600 noblemen, who landed here in the retinue of Alfred and Edward, were murdered upon the spot, by Earl Godwin. Charles I. erected a fort for the protection of the royal dockyard and navy, which, proving ineffectual to resist the Dutch in their celebrated expedition up the river, in 1667, was subsequently enlarged, and distinguished by the name of Gillingham Castle. The church was formerly remarkable for what was deemed a miraculous image of the Virgin, called 'Our Lady of Gillingham,' in a niche over the western door, to which frequent pilgrimages were made."  The Dillingham variant originates in Dullingham (the village of Dulla's people), in Cambridgeshire.   Today the Gillingham variant is fairly rare while the Dillingham is preferred.
Early History of the Gillingghan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gillingghan research. Another 67 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1735, 1611, 1625, 1611, 1613, 1678, 1617, 1689 and 1695 are included under the topic Early Gillingghan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Gillingghan Spelling Variations
The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Gillingghan has been recorded under many different variations, including Gillingham, Gillam, Gwilliams, Gilham, Dillingham and many more.
Early Notables of the Gillingghan family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Francis Dillingham (fl. 1611), was an English divine, a native of Dean, Bedfordshire (1625). He was one of the translators of the authorised version of the Bible (1611). 
Theophilus Dillingham (1613-1678), was an English churchman and academic, Master of Clare Hall, Cambridge...
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gillingghan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Gillingghan family
To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Gillingghans were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America: John Gilham who settled in Barbados in 1680; Susan Gilham settled in Jamaica in 1661; Joseph Gilham settled in Virginia in 1738; Benjamin Gillam settled in Boston in 1630.
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- Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
- Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
- Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
- Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print