Gourley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Gourley family

The surname Gourley was first found in Lothian, where "Ingelram de Gourlay is believed to have accompanied William the Lion from England in 1174, and witnesses one of his charters about 1200." [1]

Another source notes a Latin version of the forename (Ingelramus) and adds he "held land in Clydesdale and in Lothian. His son, Hugh de Gerley, possessed lands in Fife and Lothians, and some time after 1180 witnessed a charter by Ingelram de Balliol of the church of Inuerkileder to Abbey of Arnbroath. A later lngeramus Gerle was witness, 1244, Hugh Gurle and William Gerle were present at a conference at Roxbergh, 1254, and William, son of William Gerlay, made a gift to Abbey of Newbattle, 1293. " [2]

The invasion by King Edward I of England in 1296 forced many to either "render homage" to the king or lose their lands, frequently dying by the sword. "Several of the name rendered homage in 1296, viz. Roger Gourlay, William de Gurleye, Huwe de Gerleghe, and Patrick de Gerleghe, parson of the church of Loghorwerde, all four of the county of Edinbergh (Bain, II, p. 208). Adam de Gurle of Roxburghe also rendered homage, and as Adam de Goerlay appears as witness at Roxburgh, 1304." [2]

Early History of the Gourley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gourley research. Another 233 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1174, 1300, 1320, 1303, 1435, 1328, 1330, 1380, 1392, 1395, 1529, 1546 and are included under the topic Early Gourley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gourley Spelling Variations

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

Early Notables of the Gourley family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Gourley family to Ireland

Some of the Gourley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 74 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Gourley migration to the United States +

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 [3]
Gourley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Gourley, who arrived in America in 1804 [3]
  • Jane Gourley, who landed in America in 1804 [3]
  • Jane Gourley who settled in New England in 1804 with her husband William
  • Alexander Gourley, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1823 [3]
  • Robert F Gourley, who arrived in New York, NY in 1834 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Gourley Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Elizabeth Gourley, aged 40, who immigrated to the United States from Fermanagh, in 1901
  • Archibald Gourley, aged 22, who immigrated to the United States from Derry, in 1903
  • G.C. Gourley, aged 26, who immigrated 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
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Gourley migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Gourley Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • William Gourley, who arrived in Canada in 1821
  • Jane Gourley, aged 28, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Prudence" in 1838
  • Mr. Denis Gourley, aged 22 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Roseanne" departing from the port of Cork, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle in August 1847 [4]
  • Mrs. Hannah Gourley, aged 37 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Sir Henry Pottinger" departing from the port of Belfast, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle on September 20th, 1847 [4]
  • Mr. Murtagh Gourley, aged 5 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Sir Henry Pottinger" departing from the port of Belfast, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle on August 27th, 1847 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Gourley Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • George Gourley, aged 22, who immigrated to Toronto, Canada, in 1915
  • Arthur Leslie Gourley, aged 39, who immigrated to Toronto, Canada, in 1919

Contemporary Notables of the name Gourley (post 1700) +

  • Henry I. Gourley (1838-1899), American politician, Mayor of Pittsburgh from 1890 to 1893
  • James Pasco "Jimmy" Gourley Jr. (1926-2008), American jazz guitarist in the 1950s
  • Paul Gourley, former National Chairman of the College Republican National Committee in the United States
  • William B. Gourley (b. 1856), American Democrat politician, Member of New Jersey State House of Assembly from Passaic County, 1886; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New Jersey, 1888, 1904 [5]
  • Wallace S. Gourley, American Democrat politician, Member of Pennsylvania State Senate 46th District, 1943-46 [5]
  • Robert J. Gourley, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Ohio, 1972 [5]
  • Myrtle Gourley, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from New Hampshire, 1964 [5]
  • Louis H. Gourley, American politician, U.S. Vice Consul in Veracruz, 1917; U.S. Consul in Port Elizabeth, 1926-27; Sao Paulo, 1929; Medan, 1932; Shanghai, 1938 [5]
  • Henry I. Gourley, American Republican politician, Mayor of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1890-93 [5]
  • A. F. Gourley, American Democrat politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Illinois 25th District, 1926, 1928 [5]
  • ... (Another 10 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


The Gourley 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: Profunda cernit
Motto Translation: He comprehends profound things.


  1. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 2 of 3
  2. ^ 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)
  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. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 30)
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 21) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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