What is the origin of the last name Giles?

The origin of the last name Giles can be traced back to medieval England. Derived from the given name Giles, itself originating from the Greek name Aegidius, meaning "a young goat," the surname Giles emerged as a patronymic or occupational name. It denotes a descendant or one associated with someone named Giles, or someone who worked as a goat herder or caretaker. The name's historical presence can be found in various records and documents, reflecting its longevity and relevance in genealogy and British history.

Countries of origin for the last name Giles

Giles is a surname of English origin. It is derived from the given name Giles, which in turn originated from the Greek name Aegidius. This name was introduced to England after the Norman Conquest of 1066, when it was brought by the Normans. The name Giles has various historical spellings, including Gyles, Gyleson, and Gillis. It is most commonly found in the southwestern part of England.

The etymology of the name Giles can be traced back to the Greek word “aigidion,” meaning “young goat.” This name, in ancient Greece, was associated with the healing powers and vitality of goats. In Christian tradition, Saint Giles was a 7th-century hermit who lived in France, and his name became popular throughout Europe as a result of his veneration. The popularity of the name Giles in England can be attributed to the association with the saint.

Historically, the surname Giles was most prevalent in areas such as Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, and Somerset, where the name can be found in parish registers dating back to the 16th century. Over time, individuals bearing the surname Giles spread throughout various parts of England, and the name can now be found across the country.

Notable individuals with the surname Giles include John Giles, a former professional footballer from Ireland, and Giles Slocum, an American architect known for his works in California. The surname also appears in literary works, such as Giles Corey, a character in Arthur Miller’s play “The Crucible.”

In conclusion, the last name Giles has its roots in the Greek name Aegidius, which means “young goat.” It was brought to England by the Normans after the Norman Conquest and became popular due to the veneration of Saint Giles. The surname Giles is most commonly found in southwestern England and has historical associations with areas such as Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, and Somerset. Notable individuals and literary references have further added to the significance of the Giles name. Overall, the surname Giles carries a rich historical background and cultural significance, providing a fascinating glimpse into the genealogy and name etymology of individuals bearing this last name.

Interesting facts about the last name Giles

  • The surname Giles is of English origin.
  • It is derived from the medieval given name “Gile,” which itself was a short form of the biblical name “Gilbert.”
  • Giles has various spelling variations, including Gyles, Guiles, and Gylesse.
  • The name first appeared in written records in the 12th century in England.
  • Saint Giles, also known as Giles the Hermit, was a 7th-century French Christian hermit and one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. He is the patron saint of outcasts, beggars, and the disabled.
  • The surname Giles is relatively popular in English-speaking countries such as England, Scotland, and the United States.
  • Some notable individuals with the surname Giles include modernist architect Alfred Giles, British cricketer Ashley Giles, and American politician Edward Giles Barber.
  • The name Giles is associated with qualities such as courage, strength, and intelligence.
  • Giles is a relatively rare surname, ranking around 5,000th in popularity in the United States.
  • There are several places named Giles, including Giles County in Virginia, USA, and St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Name Rank


There are around 40598 people with the last name Giles in the US

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