Gilmor History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Gilmor was first used by a Strathclyde-Briton family from the Scottish/English Borderlands. It was a name for a devotee of the Virgin Mary. Looking back further, we find the name Gilmor 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 Gilmor family

The surname Gilmor 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 Gilmor family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gilmor 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 Gilmor History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gilmor Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that rules have developed and the process of spelling according to sound has been abandoned. Scottish names from before that time tend to appear under many different spelling variations. Gilmor has been spelled Gilmour, Gilmore, Gilmur, Gilmor, Gilmer and many more.

Early Notables of the Gilmor 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 Gilmor Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Gilmor family to Ireland

Some of the Gilmor 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 Gilmor migration to the United States +

Unwelcome in their beloved homeland, many Scots sailed for the colonies of North America. There, they found land and freedom, and even the opportunity to make a new nation in the American War of Independence. These Scottish settlers played essential roles in the founding of the United States, and the shaping of contemporary North America. Among them:

Gilmor Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Robert Gilmor, who arrived in America in 1769 [5]
Gilmor Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Rose Gilmor, aged 17, who landed in New Castle, Del in 1804 [5]
  • William Gilmor, aged 54, who arrived in New Castle, Del in 1804 [5]
  • William Gilmor, aged 54, who arrived in New Castle, Del in 1804 [5]
  • Jane Gilmor, aged 50, who arrived in New Castle, Del in 1804 [5]
  • Jourdan Gilmor, aged 16, who landed in New Castle, Del in 1804 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Gilmor migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Gilmor Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Michael Gilmor, aged 26, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Cupid" in 1834
  • Biddy Gilmor, aged 22, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Cupid" in 1834


The Gilmor 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. ^ Lowe, 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. ^ 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)


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