Origin of the Name Gildea
family history was found in the allfamilycrests.com archives.
Over the centuries Surnames developed a wide number of variants. Different spellings of the same name can be traced back to an original root. Additionally when a bearer of a name emigrated it was not uncommon that their original name would be incorrectly transcribed in the record books at their new location. Surnames were also often altered over the years based on how they sounded phonetically and depending on the prevailing political conditions it may have been advantageous to change a name from one language to another.
Variants of the name Gildea
include Gilday and Kildea. This name in Irish is MacGiollaDhe, meaning 'son of the servant of Christ', and the latter variants are the anglicized forms of this. This sept came from Tirconnell.
A sept or clan is a collective term describing a group of persons whose immediate ancestors bore a common surname and inhabited the same territory. Irish septs and clans that are related often belong to even larger groups, sometimes called tribes.
Like so many of the followers of the powerful O'Donnell sept the Gildeas migrated to County Mayo. Among the allies to Rory O'Donnell in the year 1601 were Conor, Owen, Brien and Edmund MacGillegea, this being an early anglicization of the name in County Donegal. In 1624 a Daniel Guilday was recorded as being the vicar of the diocese of Killaloe. The placenames Ballykildea in County Clare and Ballykilladea in County Galway were named after the sept. In modern times this name and its variants are mostly found in Mayo and Donegal.
The Gildea coat of arms came into existence centuries ago. The process of creating coats of arms (also often called family crests) began in the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this. The new art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own coat of arms, including all Gildea descendants.