Gourlie History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Gourlie family

The surname Gourlie 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 Gourlie family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gourlie 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 Gourlie History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gourlie Spelling Variations

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

Early Notables of the Gourlie family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Gourlie family to Ireland

Some of the Gourlie 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 Gourlie migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Gourlie Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Neil M. Gourlie, aged 30, who landed in America, in 1894
  • Isabel Gourlie, aged 12, who immigrated to the United States, in 1895
Gourlie Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Archie Gourlie, aged 24, who landed in America from Dublin, in 1906
  • Walter Gourlie, aged 16, who immigrated to the United States from Dublin, in 1906
  • George Gourlie, aged 22, who settled in America from Dublin, in 1906
  • Eliza Gourlie, aged 55, who immigrated to the United States, in 1909
  • Mary Gourlie, aged 50, who immigrated to America, in 1911
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Gourlie migration to Australia +

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

Gourlie Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Gourlie, Scottish convict who was convicted in Edinburgh, Scotland for 14 years, transported aboard the "Earl Grey" on 27th July 1838, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Gourlie (post 1700) +

  • William Gourlie (1815-1856), Scottish botanist, born at Glasgow in March 1815, where his father being a merchant in that city [4]


The Gourlie 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. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th August 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-grey
  4. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 June 2020


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