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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: English, Scottish

Where did the English Gillins family come from? What is the English Gillins family crest and coat of arms? When did the Gillins family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Gillins family history?

Gillins is a name that came to England in the 11th century wave of migration that was set off by the Norman Conquest of 1066. Gillins comes from the Old French given name Guillaume. The name Guillaume was modified into two forms after arriving in England: Gillham and William.


Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Gillins include Gillham, Gillam, Gilliam, Gilham, Gillem, Gillum, Giliam, Gwillam, Gwillham, Gwilliam, Gwilham, Gyllham, Gylham and many more.

First found in Suffolk where Giliana was listed in the Feet of Fines in 1198. [1] Many of the family stayed in Normandy as in the same year, Udon Galien was listed there. [2] Due the the prevalence to the often personal name, the name was scattered in early censuses as show by the Rotuli Hundredorum of 1279 which listed Gilianus de Levekenore Buckinghamshire and Adam filius Jellion in Cheshire. [1]


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gillins research. Another 189 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1276, 1283, 1379, 1524, 1636, 1682, 1665, 1701, 1690 and 1699 are included under the topic Early Gillins History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 265 words (19 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gillins Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Gillinss to arrive on North American shores:

Gillins Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Daniell Gillins, who landed in Virginia in 1650
  • Daniel Gillins, who landed in Virginia in 1650

Gillins Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • John Gillins, aged 21, a blacksmith, arrived in Hawkes Bay aboard the ship "Renfrewshire" in 1878


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  1. ^ Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)

Other References

  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  2. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  3. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  4. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  5. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  6. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  7. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  8. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  9. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  10. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  11. ...

The Gillins Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Gillins Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 3 September 2015 at 10:57.

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