Origins Available: Irish
The original Gaelic form of Gillyn was O Giollain, from the word "giolla," which means "lad."
Early Origins of the Gillyn family
The surname Gillyn was first found in County Donegal
(Irish: Dún na nGall), northwest Ireland
in the province of Ulster
, sometimes referred to as County Tyrconnel, where they held a family seat
from ancient times.
Early History of the Gillyn family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gillyn research.Another 171 words (12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gillyn History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Gillyn Spelling Variations
Individual scribes in the Ireland
during the Middle Ages would often record a person's name various ways. How the name was recorded depended on what that particular scribe believed the proper spelling for the name pronounced to him was. Spelling variations
revealed in the search for the origin of the Gillyn family name include Gillan, Gillinan, Gillen, Gillon, Gillfinan, Gillion and many more.
Early Notables of the Gillyn family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Gillyn Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Gillyn family to the New World and Oceana
The English-ruled Ireland
of the late 18th and 19th centuries featured a rapidly increasing population and an agricultural-based economy. This combination proved to be disastrous in the 1840s after a couple of failed potato harvests. Thousands died of disease and starvation, and thousands more left the country, often bound for North America. Those that survived the journey to North America were put to work building the bridges, canals, roadways, and railways needed for the development of an industrial society. Those Irish, although often despised by those already established in North American cities and towns, played an instrumental role in making Canada and the United States the powerful and wealthy nations that they are today. An examination of early immigration and passenger lists has shown many immigrants bearing the name Gillyn: Hugh and Jane Gillan who settled in New York State in 1823; James Gillan settled in New York in 1803; John, Patrick, Thomas and William Gillan settled in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860.