Gorman History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Many variations of the name Gorman have evolved since the time of its initial creation. In Gaelic it appeared as Mac Gormain, derived from the word "gorm," which means "blue."

Early Origins of the Gorman family

The surname Gorman was first found in County Clare, where O'Gorman was chief of Tullichrin, a territory comprising parts of the baronies of Moyarta and Ibrackan. They claim descendancy through the O'Connor pedigree, specifically through Daire, a younger brother of Ros Failgeach. He was the second son of Mor, the King of Leinster and the 109th Monarch of Ireland. The family were the Chiefs of Ibrckan in County Claire. [1] The Mac (Mc) prefix is rarely found today due to the fact that in the early nineteenth century native Irish "were in complete subjection." [2]

Early History of the Gorman family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gorman research. Another 90 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 117 and 1172 are included under the topic Early Gorman History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gorman Spelling Variations

Within the archives researched, many different spelling variations of the surname Gorman were found. These included One reason for the many variations is that scribes and church officials often spelled an individual's name as it sounded. This imprecise method often led to many versions. Gorman, MacGorman, O'Gorman and others.

Early Notables of the Gorman family (pre 1700)

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


United States Gorman migration to the United States +

During the 19th century thousands of impoverished Irish families made the long journey to British North America and the United States. These people were leaving a land that had become beset with poverty, lack of opportunity, and hunger. In North America, they hoped to find land, work, and political and religious freedoms. Although the majority of the immigrants that survived the long sea passage did make these discoveries, it was not without much perseverance and hard work: by the mid-19th century land suitable for agriculture was short supply, especially in British North America, in the east; the work available was generally low paying and physically taxing construction or factory work; and the English stereotypes concerning the Irish, although less frequent and vehement, were, nevertheless, present in the land of freedom, liberty, and equality for all men. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. Research into passenger and immigration lists has brought forth evidence of the early members of the Gorman family in North America:

Gorman Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Mathew Gorman, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746 [3]
  • William Gorman who settled in New England in 1747
  • Thomas Gorman, who landed in America in 1760-1763 [3]
  • James Gorman, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1763 [3]
  • William Gorman, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1766 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Gorman Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Mustie Gorman, who landed in America in 1801 [3]
  • William Gorman, who settled in Boston in 1804
  • rhos Gorman, who landed in Wilmington, North Carolina in 1804 [3]
  • Mrs. Gorman, who landed in Newport, Rhode Island in 1811 [3]
  • Dennis Gorman, who landed in Newport, Rhode Island in 1811 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Gorman Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Joseph Gorman, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1901 [3]

Canada Gorman migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Gorman Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Barney Gorman U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway [Shelburne], Nova Scotia on December 13, 1783 was passenger number 378 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on November 14, 1783 at East River, New York [4]
  • Mrs. Rebecca Gorman U.E. who settled in Eastern District [Cornwall], Ontario c. 1784 [4]
Gorman Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Daniel Gorman, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1821
  • Elizabeth Gorman, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1821
  • Thomas Gorman, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1821
  • Patrick Gorman, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1825
  • Honors Gorman, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1828
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Gorman migration to Australia +

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

Gorman Settlers in Australia in the 18th Century
Gorman Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Gorman, Irish convict who was convicted in Waterford, Ireland for 7 years for being a Political prisoner and Captain of the Irish Rebels, transported aboard the "Atlas" on 29th November 1801, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • Joseph Gorman, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Argyle" on March 5th, 1831, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [7]
  • Mr. Robert Gorman, English convict who was convicted in Lancaster, Lancashire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Aurora" on 3rd November 1833, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [8]
  • Hannah Gorman, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on December 14, 1835, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [9]
  • Mr. James Gorman, (b. 1814), aged 25, Irish black smith who was convicted in Dublin, Ireland for 10 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Blenheim" on 19th May 1839, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [10]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Gorman 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:

Gorman Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • James Gorman, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Nimroud" in 1860
  • Elizabeth Gorman, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Nimroud" in 1860
  • John Gorman, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Nimroud" in 1860
  • Joseph Gorman, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Nimroud" in 1860
  • W. Gorman, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Nimroud" in 1860
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Gorman (post 1700) +

  • Edward Joseph Gorman Jr. (1941-2016), American writer and short fiction anthologist
  • Leon A. Gorman (1934-2015), American businessman and philanthropist, President and Chairman of the Board for the clothing company L.L. Bean, grandson of Leon Leonwood Bean
  • James Gorman (b. 1859), American winner of a gold and bronze Olympic medal for shooting at 1908 games
  • Cliff Gorman (1936-2002), American actor
  • Arthur Pue Gorman (1839-1906), American politician and Senator
  • Sir John Reginald Gorman (b. 1923), Northern Irish politician
  • William Moore "Terence" Gorman (1923-2003), Irish economist and academic
  • Mr. Daniel Greelan Gorman O.B.E., Scottish professor, was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire on 29th December 2018 for voluntary service to the Promotion of Science and Engineering and to STEM Education in Kilmarnock and Ayrshire [11]
  • Teresa Ellen Gorman (1931-2015), née Moore, a British politician, Member of Parliament for Billericay (1987-2001)
  • Brigadier Sir Eugene Gorman (1891-1973), Australian Chief Inspector of Army Administration from 1942 to 1945 [12]
  • ... (Another 2 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Halifax Explosion
  • Mr. Alex  Gorman, Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [13]
  • Master Edmund Alexander  Gorman (1914-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who survived the explosion but later died due to injuries [13]
HMS Dorsetshire
  • Leonard Gorman (d. 1945), British Leading Air Fitter aboard the HMS Dorsetshire when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking [14]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Roy J Gorman, British Leading Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [15]


The Gorman 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: Primi et ultimi in bello
Motto Translation: First and last in war.


Suggested Readings for the name Gorman +

  • 923 The Gorman Family History: Including the Genealogy of Their Rider and Armstrong Ancestors by Edith Lynn Mlaker, James Henry Gorman of Haverhill, Massachusetts, His Forebears, Family and Descendants by Arthur Ellsworth Gorman.

  1. ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
  2. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 29th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/barwell
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th July 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/atlas
  7. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Argyle voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1831 with 251 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/argyle/1831
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th August 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/aurora
  9. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Arab voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1835 with 132 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/arab/1835
  10. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 15th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/blenheim
  11. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, www.thegazette.co.uk/honours-lists
  12. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, August 30) Eugene Gorman. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Gorman/Sir_Eugene/Australia.html
  13. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  14. ^ Force Z Survivors HMS Dorsetshire Crew List, (Retrieved 2018, February 13th), https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listdorsetshirecrew.html
  15. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html


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