Show ContentsJiles History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Jiles arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Jiles 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 Jiles family

The surname Jiles 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 Jiles family

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

Jiles Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Giles, Gyles, Jiles and others.

Early Notables of the Jiles 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 Jiles Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Jiles Ranking

In the United States, the name Jiles is the 5,339th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [7]

Ireland Migration of the Jiles family to Ireland

Some of the Jiles 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.

United States Jiles migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Jiles or a variant listed above:

Jiles Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Jiles, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1850 [8]

Contemporary Notables of the name Jiles (post 1700) +

  • Tonia Jiles, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from North Carolina, 2008 [9]
  • Charles A. Jiles, American politician, Independent Candidate for U.S. Senator from Georgia, 1938 [9]
  • Jiles Perry "J. P." Richardson Jr. (1930-1959), known as The Big Bopper, an American disc jockey, singer, and songwriter, best known for his recording of "Chantilly Lace," killed in a plane crash with Buddy Holly and Ritchie Vallens, famously referred to as "The Day the Music Died" in Don McLean's 1971 song "American Pie"

The Jiles 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
  7. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  8. 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)
  9. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 7) . Retrieved from on Facebook