McLemore History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

An ancient Strathclyde-Briton family from the Scottish/English Borderlands were the first to use the name McLemore. It is a name for a devotee of the Virgin Mary. Looking back further, we find the name McLemore was originally derived from the Gaelic Gille Moire, which means follower of Mary or servant of Mary. [1]

As an occupational name, the family was known as "the bearer of the broadsword to a Scottish chief." [2] or "follower of the chief, one who carried the chief's broadsword, from gille, a servant, and mor, large, great." [3]

Early Origins of the McLemore family

The surname McLemore was first found in Ayrshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Àir), formerly a county in the southwestern Strathclyde region of Scotland, that today makes up the Council Areas of South, East, and North Ayrshire, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.

Early records from Cumberland show that between 1133 and 1156, Gilmor, son of Gilander founded the chapelry of Treverman (later Trierman) in the parish of Walton, Cumberland, site of Triermain castle. "The chapel was constructed of wattlework (capetta de virgin), and on its completion Gilmor appointed his kinsman Gillemor to the chaplaincy. These names, it may be mentioned, attest the strong Gaelic influence in Cumberland at that period." [4]

Gilmore meaning "Gill the Big" was son of Gillanders the great Chief who lived about 1140.

"Some time before 1144 'Gillemor filius Gilleconel' granted a half mark of silver to the church of S. Machute in Lesmahagow (Kelso, 187). Gillemure Albanach ('the Scot') and Gillemure mac Blancard witnessed the donation of the church of Torpennoth, etc. to Holyrood by Uchtred, Lord of Galloway, between 1153-65." [4]

Early History of the McLemore family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McLemore research. Another 348 words (25 lines of text) covering the years 1250, 1190, 1200, 1190, 1211, 1250, 1250, 1316, 1270, 1304, 1572, 1605, 1671, 1661, 1671, 1628, 1641, 1661 and are included under the topic Early McLemore History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McLemore Spelling Variations

Scribes in Medieval Scotland spelled names by sound rather than any set of rules, so an enormous number of spelling variations exist in names of that era. McLemore has been spelled Gilmour, Gilmore, Gilmur, Gilmor, Gilmer and many more.

Early Notables of the McLemore family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Sir John Gilmour of Craigmillar (1605-1671), Lord President of the Court of Session 1661-1671. He was the son of John Gilmour, writer to the signet and was bred to his father's profession, but on 12 Dec. 1628 he was admitted an advocate. "His professional connection lay among the royalist party...
Another 58 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McLemore Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the McLemore family to Ireland

Some of the McLemore family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 57 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States McLemore migration to the United States +

The number of Strathclyde Clan families sailing for North America increased steadily as the persecution continued. In the colonies, they could find not only freedom from the iron hand of the English government, but land to settle on. The American War of Independence allowed many of these settlers to prove their independence, while some chose to go to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Scots played essential roles in the forging of both great nations. Among them:

McLemore Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • J C McLemore, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [5]
  • John McLemore, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1860 [5]
McLemore Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • C. K. McLemore, aged 36, who immigrated to the United States, in 1908
  • Osbern McLemore, who landed in America, in 1908
  • Patti McLemore, aged 24, who immigrated to America, in 1908
  • James L. McLemore, aged 44, who settled in America, in 1911
  • Mary W. McLemore, aged 35, who immigrated to the United States, in 1911

Contemporary Notables of the name McLemore (post 1700) +

  • Doris Jean Lamar- McLemore (1927-2016), American Native American, the last fluent speaker of the Wichita language
  • Leslie B. McLemore (b. 1940), American civil rights activist and political leader
  • Albert S. McLemore (1869-1921), American officer serving in the United States Marine Corps during the Spanish-American War
  • Atkins Jefferson McLemore (1857-1929), American newspaper publisher, State Representative and United States Representative from Texas
  • Mark Steven McLemore (b. 1980), American Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Emmett McLemore, American professional football player who played in the National Football League
  • Dana McLemore (b. 1960), former professional American football cornerback in the National Football league
  • Mark Tremell McLemore (b. 1964), American former second baseman and utility player in Major League baseball
  • McCoy McLemore (1942-2009), American former college and professional basketball star


The McLemore 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: Perseveranti dabitur
Motto Translation: It will be given to the persevering.


  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York, Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ 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)


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