Show ContentsGilson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Gilson family

The surname Gilson was first found in Dumfriesshire and in Warwickshire at Gilson, a hamlet that dates back to 1232 AD. Gilston is a village near Harlow in the county of Hertfordshire. It dates back to 1197 when it was first listed as Gedelston and literally meant "farmstead or village of a man called Gedel or Gydel," from the Old English personal name + "tun." [1]

Early History of the Gilson family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gilson research. Another 82 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1150 and 1500 are included under the topic Early Gilson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gilson Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Gillson, Gilson, Gillieson and others.

Early Notables of the Gilson family (pre 1700)

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

Gilson Ranking

In the United States, the name Gilson is the 4,179th most popular surname with an estimated 7,461 people with that name. [2] However, in France, the name Gilson is ranked the 5,726th most popular surname with an estimated 1,000 - 1,500 people with that name. [3]

Ireland Migration of the Gilson family to Ireland

Some of the Gilson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Gilson migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Gilson Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Gilson, who arrived in New England in 1633 [4]
  • Ann Gilson, who settled in New England in 1635
  • Ann Gilson, aged 34, who arrived in America in 1635 [4]
  • Andrew Gilson, who landed in Virginia in 1650 [4]
  • Henry Gilson, who landed in Virginia in 1664 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Gilson Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Eliza Gilson, who arrived in Virginia in 1701 [4]
Gilson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Richard Gilson, aged 35, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1812 [4]
  • John Gilson, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816 [4]
  • Tinely Gilson, aged 25, who arrived in New York in 1849 [4]
  • Thomas Gilson, who landed in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1884 [4]

Australia Gilson migration to Australia +

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

Gilson Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Gilson, Scottish convict who was convicted in Edinburgh, Scotland for 14 years, transported aboard the "Egyptian" on 5th April 1839, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [5]

West Indies Gilson migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [6]
Gilson Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Gilson, who settled in Barbados in 1635
  • Mr. Thomas Gilson, (b. 1614), aged 21, British settler travelling from London, England aboard the ship "Alexander" arriving in Barbados in 1635 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Gilson (post 1700) +

  • Tom Gilson (1934-1962), American actor
  • Harold "Hal" Gilson (b. 1942), American former Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Georges Robert Edmond Gilson (b. 1929), French Catholic bishop
  • Étienne Gilson (1884-1978), French Thomistic philosopher and historian of philosophy
  • Glenda Gilson (b. 1981), Irish model and television presenter
  • Paul Gilson (1865-1942), Belgian musician and composer
  • William Gilson Farlow (1844-1919), American botanist, president of the American Society of Naturalists (1899)
  • Gilson Langaro Dipp (1944-2022), Brazilian jurist and magistrate, Minister of the Superior Court of Justice from 1998 to 2014
  • Gilson Alvaristo (1956-2016), Brazilian cyclist at the 1980 and 1984 Summer Olympics

  1. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  4. 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)
  5. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 26th January 2022). Retrieved from
  7. Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 28th September 2021 from on Facebook