Show ContentsGillmore History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

A Strathclyde-Briton family from the Scottish/English Borderlands was the first to use the surname Gillmore. It is a name for a devotee of the Virgin Mary. Looking back further, we find the name Gillmore was originally derived from the Gaelic Gille Moire, which means follower of Mary or servant of Mary. [1]

As an occupational name, the family was known as "the bearer of the broadsword to a Scottish chief." [2] or "follower of the chief, one who carried the chief's broadsword, from gille, a servant, and mor, large, great." [3]

Early Origins of the Gillmore family

The surname Gillmore was first found in Ayrshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Àir), formerly a county in the southwestern Strathclyde region of Scotland, that today makes up the Council Areas of South, East, and North Ayrshire, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.

Early records from Cumberland show that between 1133 and 1156, Gilmor, son of Gilander founded the chapelry of Treverman (later Trierman) in the parish of Walton, Cumberland, site of Triermain castle. "The chapel was constructed of wattlework (capetta de virgin), and on its completion Gilmor appointed his kinsman Gillemor to the chaplaincy. These names, it may be mentioned, attest the strong Gaelic influence in Cumberland at that period." [4]

Gilmore meaning "Gill the Big" was son of Gillanders the great Chief who lived about 1140.

"Some time before 1144 'Gillemor filius Gilleconel' granted a half mark of silver to the church of S. Machute in Lesmahagow (Kelso, 187). Gillemure Albanach ('the Scot') and Gillemure mac Blancard witnessed the donation of the church of Torpennoth, etc. to Holyrood by Uchtred, Lord of Galloway, between 1153-65." [4]

Early History of the Gillmore family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gillmore research. Another 348 words (25 lines of text) covering the years 1250, 1190, 1200, 1190, 1211, 1250, 1250, 1316, 1270, 1304, 1572, 1605, 1671, 1661, 1671, 1628, 1641, 1661 and are included under the topic Early Gillmore History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gillmore Spelling Variations

Before the printing press standardized spelling in the last few hundred years, no general rules existed in the English language. Spelling variations in Scottish names from the Middle Ages are common even within a single document. Gillmore has been spelled Gilmour, Gilmore, Gilmur, Gilmor, Gilmer, Gilmoore and many more.

Early Notables of the Gillmore family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Sir John Gilmour of Craigmillar (1605-1671), Lord President of the Court of Session 1661-1671. He was the son of John Gilmour, writer to the signet and was bred to his father's profession, but on 12 Dec. 1628 he was admitted an advocate. "His professional connection lay among the royalist party...
Another 58 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gillmore Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gillmore Ranking

In the United States, the name Gillmore is the 16,532nd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [5]

Ireland Migration of the Gillmore family to Ireland

Some of the Gillmore family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 57 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Gillmore migration to the United States +

For Scottish immigrants, the great expense of travel to North America did not seem such a problem in those unstable times. Acres of land awaited them and many got the chance to fight for their freedom in the American War of Independence. These Scots and their ancestors went on to play important roles in the forging of the great nations of the United States and Canada. Among them:

Gillmore Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Gillmore, aged 21, who arrived in Maryland in 1683 [6]
Gillmore Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Gillmore, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1857 [6]
  • Patrick Gillmore, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1873 [6]

Canada Gillmore migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Gillmore Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Edward Gillmore U.E., "Gilner" who settled in St. Andrews, New Brunswick c. 1784 member of the Port Matoon Association [7]

Australia Gillmore migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Gillmore Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Gillmore, English convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Countess of Harcourt" on 29th April 1828, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [8]
  • Mr. Daniel Gillmore, British convict who was convicted in Chester, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Henry Tanner" on 27th June 1834, settling in New South Wales, Australia [9]

Contemporary Notables of the name Gillmore (post 1700) +

  • Inez Haynes Gillmore (1873-1970), pen name of Inez Haynes Irwin, an American feminist author, journalist, member of the National Women's Party, President of the Authors Guild
  • Crockett Allen Gillmore (b. 1991), American NFL football tight end for the Baltimore Ravens
  • Ruth Emily Gillmore (1899-1976), English-born American stage actress
  • Quincy Adams Gillmore (1825-1888), American civil engineer, author, and a general in the Union Army during the American Civil War, eponym of the Gillmore Medal
  • Frank Gillmore (1867-1943), American playwright and stage and film actor, founder and former President of Actor's Equity
  • Margaret Lorraine "Margalo" Gillmore (1897-1986), English-born American film, stage and television actress, daughter of Frank Gillmore
  • Brigadier-General William E. Gillmore (1876-1948), American Assistant Chief of the Air Corps (1926-1930) [10]
  • Major-General William Nelson Gillmore (1903-1990), American Commanding General XV Corps (1959-1961) [11]
  • John Gillmore (1786-1859), American politician, Mayor of Athens, Ohio, 1832-33; Member of Ohio State House of Representatives, 1835 [12]
  • Frederick H. Gillmore, American Republican politician, Candidate for New York State Assembly from New York County 16th District, 1942 [12]
  • ... (Another 5 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Gillmore Motto +

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: Perseveranti dabitur
Motto Translation: It will be given to the persevering.

  1. Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  4. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  5. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  6. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  7. Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  8. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 19th April 2021). Retrieved from
  9. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th January 2020). Retrieved from
  10. Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2012, March 5) William Gillmore. Retrieved from
  11. Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, October 6) William Gillmore. Retrieved from
  12. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 23) . Retrieved from on Facebook