Origin of the Name Guilfoyle
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 Guilfoyle
include MacGilfoyle and Gilfoyle. In Irish this name is Mac Giolla Phoil, meaning 'son of the follower of Saint Paul'. The name is sometimes disguised under the name Powell adopted in its place during the period of Gaelic subjugation. They were a sept of some importance, their Chiefs being seated in the vicinity of Shinrone, County Offaly, which lies in the Ely O'Carroll territory.
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.
An early record of the name refers to a Nichol and Owen MacGilfoil who were the first two signatures on an indenture dated 1576 wherein Sir William O'Karrell agrees to the incorporation of the territory of Ely O'Carroll in Offaly. In modern times the name is most associated with Counties Offaly and Clare.
The Guilfoyle 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 Guilfoyle descendants.