Gilreath History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient Dalriadan-Scottish name Gilreath is a nickname for a young man with tanned skin or with tawny hair with darker streaks. The Gaelic form of the name is Mac 'Ille riabhaich, which means son of the brindled lad.

Early Origins of the Gilreath family

The surname Gilreath 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 early times.

Early History of the Gilreath family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gilreath research. Another 216 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1300, 1376, 1476, 1508 and 1526 are included under the topic Early Gilreath History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gilreath Spelling Variations

Spelling variations were extremely common in medieval names, since scribes from that era recorded names according to sound rather than a standard set of rules. Gilreath has appeared in various documents spelled Macilreach, McIlreach, MacIlreath, McIlreath, Macilriach, McIlriach, Macilraith, McIlraith, Macilaraith, McIlaraith, Macilarith, McIlarith, Macilwraith, McIlwraith, Macilwraithe, McIlwraithe, MacIlwrathe, McIlwrathe, MacKilwrath, McKilwrath, MacKilwrathe, McKilwrathe, Macgfillreich, McFillreich, Macileriach, McIleriach, Macillrich, McIllrich, Macilurick, McIlurick, Macilwrick, McIlwrick, MacIlwrith, McIlwrith, MacIlrevie, McIlrevie, MacKilreve, McKilreve, MacKilrea, McKilrea, MacElrath, McElrath, MacElreath, McElreath, McElvrick, MacElvrick, McIllrie, MacIllrie, MacAlwraith, McAlwraith, Revie, McRevie and many more.

Early Notables of the Gilreath family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Gilreath Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Gilreath family to Ireland

Some of the Gilreath family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 32 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Gilreath family

Significant portions of the populations of both the United States and Canada are still made up of the ancestors of Dalriadan families. Some of those in Canada originally settled the United States, but went north as United Empire Loyalists in the American War of Independence. The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw the ancestors of many Scots on both sides of the border begin to recover their collective national heritage through Clan societies and highland games. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants: John McIllreavy landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1846; Archibald McIllree landed there in 1832; William McIlrea landed in Philadelphia in 1834.


Contemporary Notables of the name Gilreath (post 1700) +

  • George Allen Gilreath (1834-1863), commanded the Confederate troops who had advanced the farthest during Pickett's Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg
  • James Gilreath (1936-2003), American pop singer and songwriter
  • Erin Gilreath (b. 1980), American hammer thrower
  • Robert Gilreath (b. 1952), English professional footballer


The Gilreath 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: Per mare per terras
Motto Translation: By sea and by land.


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