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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.

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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 Essex where they had been granted lands by King William, Duke of Normandy, for their assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.


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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.

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

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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. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  2. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  3. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  4. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  5. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  6. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  7. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  8. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  9. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  10. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  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 30 August 2013 at 12:00.

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