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The many centuries old Dalriadan-Scottish name Gorkell comes from the Gaelic word Mac-Thorcaill which means son of Thor's cauldron, which is the Norse hero whose name refers to the cauldron of the thunder god.

Early Origins of the Gorkell family


The surname Gorkell was first found in Argyllshire (Gaelic erra Ghaidheal), the region of western Scotland corresponding roughly with the ancient Kingdom of Dál Riata, in the Strathclyde region of Scotland, now part of the Council Area of Argyll and Bute, where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.

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Early History of the Gorkell family

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Early History of the Gorkell family


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gorkell research.
Another 255 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1430, 1434, 1509 and 1600 are included under the topic Early Gorkell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Gorkell Spelling Variations

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Gorkell Spelling Variations


Spelling and translation were not standardized practices until the last few centuries. Spelling variations are extremely common among early Scottish names. Gorkell has been spelled MacCorquodale, MacCorquindale, MacCorkindale, MacCorkill and many more.

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Early Notables of the Gorkell family (pre 1700)

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Early Notables of the Gorkell family (pre 1700)


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

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Migration of the Gorkell family to the New World and Oceana

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Migration of the Gorkell family to the New World and Oceana


Many who arrived from Scotland settled along the east coast of North America in communities that would go on to become the backbones of the young nations of the United States and Canada. In the American War of Independence, many settlers who remained loyal to England went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Their descendants later began to recover the lost Scottish heritage through events such as the highland games that dot North America in the summer months. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Gorkell family emigrate to North America: Archibald McCorkadale, who arrived in Jamaica in 1685; Duncan McCorquadale, who came to Jamaica in 1758; Christian McCorquodale, who arrived in Virginia in 1792.

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The Gorkell Motto

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The Gorkell 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: Vivat Rex
Motto Translation: Long live the king.


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Gorkell Family Crest Products

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Gorkell Family Crest Products



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