Gilliland History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Gilliland surname is a reduced Anglicized form of the Irish Gaelic Mac Gille Fhaoláin, which means "son of the servant of St Faolán." While the name may have originated in Ireland, this line was extant by the beginning of the 17th century, only to find many of the family to return to Ireland about 100 years later with the Plantation of Ulster.

Early Origins of the Gilliland family

The surname Gilliland was first found in Midlothian, where Gilbert McGillelane or McGillolane was listed as captain of Clan Connan of Galloway during the reign of David II (1324-1371). Also during this time, Ingeram M'Gillelan held a lease of lands in the barony of Redcastle in 1372. [1]

Early History of the Gilliland family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gilliland research. Another 89 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1206, 1667, 1735, 1731, 1735, and 1847 are included under the topic Early Gilliland History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gilliland Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Gilleland, Gillieland, Gillsland, Gilsland, Gillesland, Gillerlaine, Gillerland, Gillisland, Gillan, Gillander, Gilander, MacGillanders and many more.

Early Notables of the Gilliland family (pre 1700)

Another 27 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gilliland Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Gilliland family to Ireland

Some of the Gilliland family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 127 words (9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Gilliland migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Gilliland Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Gilliland, who settled in New England in 1685
  • John Gilliland, who arrived in East New Jersey in 1685 [2]
Gilliland Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William H Gilliland, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1809 [2]
  • William Gilliland, who arrived in Mississippi in 1825 [2]
  • John L Gilliland, who arrived in New York in 1830 [2]
  • Samuel Gilliland, who landed in Texas in 1835 [2]
  • Eli Gilliland, who arrived in Texas in 1835 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Gilliland migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Gilliland Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • William Gilliland, aged 27, a farmer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Protector" in 1834
  • Alexander Gilliland, aged 27, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Protector" in 1834
  • Mary Gilliland, aged 28, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Protector" in 1834

New Zealand Gilliland 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:

Gilliland Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Margaret Gilliland, (b. 1839), aged 23, Irish domestic servant from County Tyrone, travelling aboard the ship "Mersey" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 25th September 1862 [3]
  • Mr. John Gilliland, (b. 1861), aged 1, Irish settler from County Tyrone, travelling aboard the ship "Mersey" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 25th September 1862 [3]
  • Samuel Gilliland, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Queen of Beauty" in 1863

Contemporary Notables of the name Gilliland (post 1700) +

  • Bob Gilliland (1926-2019), American pilot, first to fly SR-71 Blackbird
  • Gaelen Gilliland, American musical theatre actress
  • Charles Leon Gilliland (1933-1951), United States Army soldier who posthumously received the Medal of Honor, for his actions in the Korean War
  • John Sanford Gilliland Jr. (1935-1998), American radio broadcaster and documentarian
  • David Gilliland (b. 1976), American NASCAR driver
  • Edwin R. Gilliland (1909-1973), American chemical engineer and Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Richard Gilliland (b. 1950), American television and movie actor
  • Alexis Arnaldus Gilliland (b. 1931), American science fiction writer and cartoonist, winner of the John W. Campbell Award for the Best New Writer in Science Fiction
  • Lukin Gilliland, American Democrat politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Texas 23rd District, 2006 [4]
  • John Gilliland (b. 1966), American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Iowa, 2004 [4]
  • ... (Another 8 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Repulse
  • Mr. John W Gilliland, British Leading Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [5]


Suggested Readings for the name Gilliland +

  • 2190 A Family History, Gilliland-Danhauer of Lyndon, Osage County, Kansas: Their Ancestors and Collateral Lines by Nadine Gilliland Howe, These Are My Roots: Gilliland & Jenkins Genealogy by Matilda Jenkins Webb.

  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 23) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  5. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html


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