Gourly History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Gourly family

The surname Gourly 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 Gourly family

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

Gourly Spelling Variations

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

Early Notables of the Gourly family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Gourly family to Ireland

Some of the Gourly 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 Gourly migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Gourly Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Gourly, aged 20, who landed in New York in 1812 [3]

New Zealand Gourly 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:

Gourly Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Gourly, (b. 1837), aged 21, British carpenter travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Indiana" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 28th November 1858 [4]


The Gourly 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. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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