Origin of the Name Gilligan
The origin of the name Gilligan
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 Gilligan
include Giligan, O'Gillan, Gillan, Gillen, Galligan, MacGil and MacElgunn. This name in Irish is MacGiollagain and the latter variants are the anglicized forms of this. This sept came from County Derry.
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.
Their territory in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was known as MacGilligan's Country and Magilligan Strand, near Lough Foyle, is still a feature found on modern maps. In an important despatch in 1608 it was noted that the MacGilligans were one of the three chief septs under the ruling O'Cahans, the others being O'Mullane and MacCluskey. In the sixteenth century the parish of Tamlaght Ard, County Derry was known as Ard MacGilligan. By the middle of the seventeenth century the prefix 'Mac' had mostly been dropped.
The Gilligan 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 Gilligan descendants.