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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the Scottish Gourley family come from? What is the Scottish Gourley family crest and coat of arms? When did the Gourley family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Gourley family history?


Spelling variations of this family name include: Gourlay, Gurley, Gourley, Gourlie and others.

First found in Lothian, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gourley research. Another 179 words(13 lines of text) covering the years 1174, 1296, 1300, and 1330 are included under the topic Early Gourley History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Gourley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Gourley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 278 words(20 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Gourley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Thomas Gourley, who landed in New York in 1799

Gourley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Wm Gourley, who arrived in America in 1804
  • Jane Gourley, who landed in America in 1804
  • Jane Gourley who settled in New England in 1804 with her husband William
  • Alexander Gourley, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1823
  • Robert F Gourley, who arrived in New York, NY in 1834

Gourley Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Elizabeth Gourley, aged 40, who emigrated to the United States from Fermanagh, in 1901
  • Archibald Gourley, aged 22, who emigrated to the United States from Derry, in 1903
  • G.C. Gourley, aged 26, who emigrated to America from Glasgow, in 1906
  • Hugh Gourley, aged 23, who landed in America from Belfast, Ireland, in 1907
  • Annie Gourley, aged 1, who landed in America from Blautyro, Scotland, in 1907

Gourley Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • William Gourley, who arrived in Canada in 1821
  • Jane Gourley, aged 28, arrived in Saint John aboard the ship "Prudence" in 1838

Gourley Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century

  • George Gourley, aged 22, who emigrated to Toronto, Canada, in 1915
  • Arthur Leslie Gourley, aged 39, who emigrated to Toronto, Canada, in 1919


  • Henry I. Gourley (1838-1899), Mayor of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from 1890 to 1893
  • Paul Gourley, former National Chairman of the College Republican National Committee in the United States
  • James Pasco "Jimmy" Gourley Jr. (1926-2008), American jazz guitarist in the 1950s
  • Henry I. Gourley (1838-1899), American politician, Mayor of Pittsburgh from 1890 to 1893
  • Cyril Edward Gourley VC MM (1893-1982), English recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • Scott Gourley (b. 1968), former Australian rugby league and rugby union player
  • Sir Edward Temperley Gourley VD (1826-1902), English coal fitter, shipowner and politician
  • Hugh Gourley (1825-1906), Irish-born, New Zealand politician, 17th Mayor of Dunedin (18881889) and later (18961897)
  • Mitchell Gourley (b. 1991), Australian Paralympic alpine skiier at the 2010 Winter Paralympics
  • Robin Gourley, Irish-born, Australian former rugby league footballer of the 1960s



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: Profunda cernit
Motto Translation: He comprehends profound things.


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  1. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  2. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  3. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
  4. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  5. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  6. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  7. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and David Hicks. The Highland Clans The Dynastic Origins, Cheifs and Background of the Clans. New York: C.N. Potter, 1968. Print.
  8. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  9. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  10. Skene, William Forbes Edition. Chronicles of the Picts, Chronicles of the Scots and Other Early Memorials of Scottish History. Edinburgh: H.M. General Register House, 1867. Print.
  11. ...

The Gourley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Gourley Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 5 February 2015 at 13:11.

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