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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
Origins Available: French, Scottish
On the western coast of Scotland and on the Hebrides islands the Gillis family was born among the ancient Dalriadan clans. Their name comes from the Gaelic words "gille Iose," which means "servant of Jesus."
The surname Gillis 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.
In various documents Gillis has been spelled Since medieval scribes still spelled according to sound, records from that era contain an enormous number of spelling variations. Gillies, Gillis, Gillie, Gilly, Gilles, Gillieson and many more.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gillis research. Another 129 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1264, 1376, 1521, 1747, 1836, 1778 and 1793 are included under the topic Early Gillis History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 51 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gillis Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the Gillis family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 87 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.
Dalriadan families proliferated in North America. Their descendants still populate many communities in the eastern parts of both the United States and Canada. Some settled in Canada as United Empire Loyalists, in the wake of the American War of Independence. Families on both sides of the border have recovered much of their heritage in the 20th century through Clan societies and highland games. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Gillis or a variant listed above:
Gillis Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Elin Gillis settled in Virginia in 1649
- Elinor Gillis, who arrived in Virginia in 1649
- Annetje Gillis, who arrived in New Netherland(s) in 1662
- Annette Gillis landed in New York in 1662
Gillis Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Wm Gillis, who landed in Virginia in 1703
- Mary Gillis, who arrived in New York in 1738
- Elisbie Sutherland Gillis, who landed in New York NY in 1738
- Catharine Gillis, who landed in New York in 1740
- Sarah Gillis settled in New Jersey in 1773
Gillis Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Swain Gillis, aged 28, landed in North Carolina in 1812
- Malcom Gillis, aged 50, arrived in North Carolina in 1812
- Archibald Gillis, aged 45, arrived in North Carolina in 1812
- Hector Gillis, aged 46, arrived in North Carolina in 1812
- John Gillis, aged 45, landed in North Carolina in 1812
Gillis Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
- Mr. Daniel Gillis U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784
- Mr. John Gillis U.E. who settled in St. Andrews, New Brunswick c. 1784 he was part of the Penobscot Association and the Cape Ann Association
Gillis Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
- Alex Gillis, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1801
Gillis Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- Robert James Gillis, aged 23, a farm labourer, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Assaye" in 1874
- Stephen Malcolm Gillis (1940-2015), American academic, 6th President of Rice University in Houston, Texas, from 1993 until 2004
- Betty Gillis, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Kentucky, 1972
- Andrew J. Gillis, American Democrat politician, Mayor of Newburyport, Massachusetts, 1953; Defeated, 1953; Candidate for U.S. Representative from Massachusetts 6th District, 1954
- Albert H. Gillis, American Democrat politician, Postmaster at Kansas City, Kansas, 1916-21, 1934-50 (acting, 1934-35)
- Burton J. Gillis, American Republican politician, Candidate in primary for Michigan State House of Representatives from Bay County 1st District, 1942
- Charles J. Gillis, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from New York, 1868
- Daniel Gillis, American Democrat politician, Candidate in primary for Michigan State Senate 14th District, 1977
- Dionysius Gillis, American Republican politician, Candidate for New Hampshire State House of Representatives from Berlin 1st Ward, 1938
- Ethel B. Gillis, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from California, 1952
- Hugh Marion Gillis (b. 1918), American Democrat politician, Member of Georgia State House of Representatives from Treutlen County, 1941-44, 1949-56; Member of Georgia State Senate, 1962-2004
- The Gillis Family in the South by Clayton G. Metcalf.
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
- Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
- Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and David Hicks. The Highland Clans The Dynastic Origins, Cheifs and Background of the Clans. New York: C.N. Potter, 1968. Print.
- Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
- Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
- Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
- Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
- Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
- Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
- Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
- Adam, Frank. Clans Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands 8th Edition. London: Bacon (G.W.) & Co, 1970. Print. (ISBN 10-0717945006).
The Gillis Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Gillis 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 8 April 2016 at 17:17.
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