Show ContentsGuiles History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Guiles is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. Guiles is a name that comes from the medieval given name Giles. This name is derived from the Greek aigidion, which means kid, or young goat.

Another source claims the family were originally Norman from "La Gile or Gueilles, Normandy as the Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae lists Robert de Gueilles of Normandy 1198. [1]

Early Origins of the Guiles family

The surname Guiles was first found in the Domesday Book of 1086 where Gilo and Ghilo were both listed. [2] Shortly after Widofilius Gisel was listed in Lincolnshire as was Gisle, Egidius, Gilo, Gile in 1183-1187.

About this time, the first records of the name as a surname appeared: Ailward, Godfrey Gile in the Pipe Rolls for Berkshire and Northumberland 1176, 1191; William Gyles in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex in 1296; William Gilis in the Assize Rolls for Kent in 1317; and Nicholas Gisel in Suffolk in 1346. [3]

"The Domesday Book Gilo has been identified with Old German Gilo, equivalent to Gislebertus, and this is supported by the forms Gisel, Gisle. The Latinization of this by Egidius shows that the scribe associated the name with Giles, a difficult name, regularly translated Egidius, from Greek ayíiov 'kid'. The name of the 7th-century Provengal hermit St Ægidius spread widely and survives as Gidi, Gidy in southern France, as Gili, Gilli in the Alpes-Maritimes, elsewhere as Gile, Gille. The popularity of this form in England is proved both by the number of churches dedicated to St Giles and by the frequent medieval Egidius." [3]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 include: Egidius, or Gilius Gowsell, Lincolnshire; Jordan filius Egidii, Lincolnshire; and Osbert filius Egidii, Lincolnshire. [4]

Further to the north in Scotland, the first record was of William Gilis who gave his land of Mosplat to the church of Lanark c. 1214. But we must wait over three hundred years to find the next references: Robert Geliss was chaplain in 1527, and Jhone Gelis was one of an inquest on lands of Gowane (Govan) in the same year. [5]

"Dean Prior, [Devon] was purchased at the Dissolution from Henry VIII. by William Giles of Bowden, near Totnes, and in the mansion which the Gileses built there long resided Sir Edward Giles, born at Totnes about 1580, one of Prince's ' Worthies,' and a prominent Devonian throughout a long career. A soldier in the Low Countries, under Elizabeth ; a courtier, knighted by James I. at his coronation ; constantly chosen one of the representatives of Totnes during the reigns of James and Charles he proved himself not only a statesman, but a patriot, by remonstrating against ship-money in 1634. The epitaph on Sir Edward Giles and his wife, placed beneath their handsome monument in Dean Prior Church, was written by Robert Herrick, who was for many years Vicar of Dean." [6]

Early History of the Guiles family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Guiles research. Another 184 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1273, 1296, 1317, 1346, 1615, 1681, 1741, 1564, 1576, 1680, 1755, 1652, 1621, 1644, 1640, 1709, 1634, 1567 and 1571 are included under the topic Early Guiles History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Guiles Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Giles, Gyles, Jiles and others.

Early Notables of the Guiles family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Gyles (ca.1680-1755), American interpreter and soldier, best known for his account of his experiences with the Malecite tribes. Mascal Gyles (died 1652), was an English vicar of Ditchling, Sussex, from 1621 to 1644; and Henry Gyles or Giles (1640?-1709), was an English...
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Guiles Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Guiles family to Ireland

Some of the Guiles family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 47 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Guiles family

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Guiles or a variant listed above were: Edward Giles who settled in Salem, Massachusetts in 1634; George Giles who purchased land in Virginia in 1652; Susan Giles, who settled in Barbados in 1660.

The Guiles 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: Pensez a moi
Motto Translation: Think of me.

  1. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. 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)
  6. Worth, R.N., A History of Devonshire London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, E.G., 1895. Digital on Facebook