Glace History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Glace family finds its ancestral home among the rugged mountains and sea-swept Hebrides islands of Scotland's west coast. In that area, once known as the kingdom of Dalriada, Glace evolved as a nickname for a person with gray hair. The surname Glass is derived from the Gaelic word glas, which means gray, however, it may also be a shortened Anglicized form of the surname MacGille Glais, which means son of the gray lad. [1]

In England, the name is an occupational name for "one who made or sold glassware." [2]

Early Origins of the Glace family

The surname Glace was first found in Buteshire (Gaelic Siorrachd Bhòid), an island region of western Scotland within the ancient Kingdom of Dál Riata, now part of the Council Area of Argyll and Bute. Glass is a "parish, of which the name, in the Gaelic language, signifying "grey," is descriptive of the uncultivated portion of its surface, is about eight miles in extreme length, and five miles in extreme breadth, comprising an area of nearly 19,000 acres." [3]

Early records of the family are very scarce. The name is thought to be "a shortened form of Mac Gille glais [who were] families locally called barons from the fifteenth century till recently. In 1506 there is record of a grant of half the lands of Langilculcreich in Bute to Alexander Glass. The name is also in record in Perth in 1674, and fifteen of the name are recorded in the Commissariot Record of Dunblane from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century." [4]

Much father to the south in Devon, England "the present home of the name of Glass in this county is in the Exbourne district. Nicholas Glass was the name of the mayor of Barnstaple in 1787 and 1804. Glass was the name of two Tiverton churchwardens in 1723 and 1724. The name is also established in Wiltshire." [5]

Early History of the Glace family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Glace research. Another 150 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1652, 1674, 1695, 1773, 1724, 1695, 1773 and are included under the topic Early Glace History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Glace Spelling Variations

In the Middle Ages, the translation between Gaelic and English was not a highly developed process. Spelling was not yet standardized, and so, an enormous number of spelling variations appear in records of early Scottish names. Glace has appeared as Glass, Glas, MacGilleglas, Glasse and others.

Early Notables of the Glace family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan from early times was John Glas (1695-1773), Scottish sectary, only son of Alexander Glas (d. 1724), minister of Auchtermuchty, Fifeshire, afterwards of Kinclaven, Perthshire. He was born at Auchtermuchty on 21 Sept. 1695. "Glas was of even and cheerful disposition, in company free from professional stiffness, and not without a sense of humour. ‘I too can be grave at times,’...
Another 63 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Glace Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Glace family to Ireland

Some of the Glace family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 60 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 Glace migration to the United States +

Ancestors of many of the Dalriadan families who crossed the Atlantic still live along the east coast of the United States and Canada. Some Scottish settlers arrived in Canada during the American War of Independence as United Empire Loyalists, while others stayed south to fight for a new nation. The descendants of Scottish settlers in both countries began to rediscover their heritage in the 19th and 20th centuries through Clan societies and highland games. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Glace or a variant listed above:

Glace Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Leonard Glace, aged 30, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1738 [6]


The Glace 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: Luctor
Motto Translation: I struggle, but am not overwhelmed.


  1. ^ Dixon, Bernard Homer, Surnames. London: John Wilson and son, 1857. Print
  2. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, 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. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  6. ^ 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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