Gilmore History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

A Strathclyde-Briton family from the Scottish/English Borderlands was the first to use the surname Gilmore. It is a name for a devotee of the Virgin Mary. Looking back further, we find the name Gilmore 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 Gilmore family

The surname Gilmore 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 Gilmore family

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

Gilmore Spelling Variations

The origin of rules governing the spelling of names and even words is a very recent innovation. Before that, words and names were spelled according to sound, and, therefore, often appeared under several different spelling variations in a single document. Gilmore has been spelled Gilmour, Gilmore, Gilmur, Gilmor, Gilmer and many more.

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

Ireland Migration of the Gilmore family to Ireland

Some of the Gilmore 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 Gilmore migration to the United States +

The persecution faced in their homeland left many Scots with little to do but sail for the colonies of North America. There they found land, freedom, opportunity, and nations in the making. They fought for their freedom in the American War of Independence, or traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. In both cases, they made enormous contributions to the formation of those great nations. Among them:

Gilmore Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Robert Gilmore, who arrived in New England in 1718 [5]
Gilmore Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Joseph Dent Gilmore, who arrived in Grenada in 1801 [5]
  • Jourdan Gilmore, aged 16, who landed in New Castle, Del in 1804 [5]
  • Jane Gilmore, aged 50, who arrived in New Castle, Del in 1804 [5]
  • Frances Gilmore, aged 21, who landed in New Castle, Del in 1804 [5]
  • Rose Gilmore, aged 17, 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 Gilmore migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Gilmore Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Joseph Gilmore U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 [6]
Gilmore Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Jane Gilmore, aged 45, a widow, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship "John & Mary" from Belfast, Ireland
  • Nancy Gilmore, aged 16, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship "John & Mary" from Belfast, Ireland
  • Richard Gilmore, aged 13, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship "John & Mary" from Belfast, Ireland
  • James Gilmore, aged 34, a farmer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Dorcas Savage" from Belfast, Ireland
  • John Gilmore, aged 65, a farmer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Dorcas Savage" from Belfast, Ireland
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Gilmore migration to Australia +

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

Gilmore Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mary Gilmore, English convict from Bristol, who was transported aboard the "Angelina" on April 25, 1844, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [7]
  • James Gilmore, aged 21, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Marion" [8]
  • Bernard Gilmore, aged 33, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Harry Lorrequer" [9]
  • James Gilmore, aged 21, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Marion" in 1849 [8]
  • Martha Gilmore, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Bolivar" in 1850 [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Gilmore migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Gilmore Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. J. B. Gilmore (Gilmer), Australian settler travelling from Sydney aboard the ship "Diana" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 11th July 1840 [11]
  • Mr. Robert Gilmore, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Katherine Stewart Forbes" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 9th March 1852 [11]
  • Mr. Robert Gilmore, British settler travelling from London, UK aboard the ship "Bride" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 21st June 1858 [11]
  • Mrs. Helen Gilmore, (b. 1832), aged 27, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Mary Anne" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 4th August 1859 [11]
  • Mr. Alexander Gilmore, (b. 1834), aged 25, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Mary Anne" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 4th August 1859 [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Gilmore (post 1700) +

  • David Gilmore (b. 1964), American jazz guitarist
  • Brenda Gilmore (b. 1968), American politician, Member of the Tennessee House of Representatives (2007-)
  • Artis Gilmore (b. 1949), retired American Hall of Fame basketball player
  • Arthur Wells "Art" Gilmore (1912-2010), American voice actor and announcer
  • Alfred Gilmore (1812-1858), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania (1849-1853)
  • Alexie Gilmore (b. 1976), American actress known for God Bless America (2011), World's Greatest Dad (2009) and Willow Creek (2013)
  • Frederick Garfield "Fred" Gilmore (1887-1969), Canadian-born, American featherweight professional boxer who won bronze at the 1904 Olympics [12]
  • Bryan Gilmore (b. 1978), American NFL wide receiver
  • Charles Whitney Gilmore (1874-1945), American paleontologist
  • Commander Howard Walter Gilmore (1902-1943), American submarine commander awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1943
  • ... (Another 11 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Royal Oak
  • Ernest J. Gilmore, British Petty Officer with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he survived the sinking [13]


The Gilmore 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.


Suggested Readings for the name Gilmore +

  • 606 I Walk in the Light: The Ancestors and Descendants of John Smith Gilmore by Walter S. and Florence F. Beanblossom.

  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)
  6. ^ 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
  7. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 27) Angelina voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1844 with 171 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/angelina/1844
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The MARION 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Marion.htm
  9. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) HARRY LORREQUER 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849HarryLorrequer.htm
  10. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) BOLIVAR 1850. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1850Bolivar.gif
  11. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  12. ^ Athletes - Famous Olympic Athletes, Medalists, Sports Heroes. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Frederick Gilmore. Retrieved from http://www.olympic.org/content/olympic-athletes/generic-athlete-page/?athleteid=57384
  13. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html


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