Gilpen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Gilpen family arrived in England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Gilpen came from given name Gilpin or in some circumstances from an ancestor and in "the son of Gilbert." [1] The surname came to denote a son or descendent of one who was named Gilpin.

Another source notes that the name is "armorially identified with Galpine, a form of Galopin. Bernardus Galopin of Normandy, 1198 (Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae.) [2]

Early Origins of the Gilpen family

The surname Gilpen was first found in Westmorland "seated at Kentmere Hall, temp. King John." [3]

"Kentmere Hall, the ancient residence of the Gilpins, and now occupied as a farmhouse, is a lofty quadrangular tower, four stories in height, built of rude ragstone, and having a massive and venerable aspect. Bernard Gilpin, the divine, was born at the Hall in 1517." [4]

Early History of the Gilpen family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gilpen research. Another 154 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1167, 1216, 1517, 1583, 1517, 1539, 1541, 1514, 1602, 1661, 1879, 1625, 1700 and are included under the topic Early Gilpen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gilpen Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Gilpin, Gilpins, Gylpin, de Gilpin and others.

Early Notables of the Gilpen family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Bernard Gilpin (1517-1583) the 'Apostle of the North,' born at Kentmere, Westmorland, in 1517. "He came, both by father and mother, of ‘ancient and honourable’ families. His mother was daughter of William Laton of Delamain, Cumberland. Having received the rudiments of education at a grammar school in the north, Gilpin was sent to Queen's College, Oxford, at the age of sixteen. At Oxford he was much attracted to the works of Erasmus, and received help in acquiring Greek and Hebrew from Mr. Neale, a fellow of New College, and afterwards the author of...
Another 162 words (12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gilpen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Gilpen family to Ireland

Some of the Gilpen family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 180 words (13 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


New Zealand Gilpen 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:

Gilpen Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • James Gilpen, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alfred" in 1864 [5]


  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  3. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  4. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  5. ^ Archives New Zealand Micro 5019. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Alfred. Retrieved from http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ourstuff/Alfred1864.htm


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