Origin of the Name Gillen
The ancient history of the name Gillen
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 Gillen
include Gillan and O'Gillen. This name in Irish is O'Giollain and the latter variants are the anglicized forms of this. This name is taken from the Gaelic word 'giolla' meaning 'lad'. This sept were of the Cenel Eoghan who were a group descended from Eoghan, son of the famous 'Niall of the Nine Hostages', from whom the O'Neills take their name. They were located in Counties Donegal, Tyrone and 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.
The Gillen 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 Gillen descendants.