What is the origin of the last name Gilmore?

The last name Gilmore has its origin in the medieval Gaelic name "Mac Gille Mhóire," meaning "son of the servant of (the Virgin) Mary." Derived from the personal name Gillmore, which translates to "devotee of Mary," the surname Gilmore is predominantly associated with Ireland, particularly in the counties of Armagh and Antrim. The anglicized version of the name came into use during the centuries-long process of anglicization of Gaelic surnames in Ireland, leading to the modern-day surname Gilmore.

Countries of origin for the last name Gilmore

The last name Gilmore has a rich history and interesting etymology. Here are the facts:

Gilmore is an anglicized form of the Gaelic name Mac Giolla Mhir, which means “son of the devotee of Mary.” This name originated in Ireland and has deep roots in Irish history and culture. It is predominantly found in Ulster, where it has been present for centuries.

One possible origin of the name is the Mac Giolla Mhir sept, a group of families who were hereditary servants to the O’Neills of Tyrone. They were known for their loyalty and dedication to the O’Neill clan, and their devotion to the Virgin Mary is reflected in their name.

The name Gilmore is also associated with the MacLiamór sept, who were bards and chroniclers in medieval Ireland. They played a significant role in recording and preserving the history and genealogy of their communities, and their association with the name Gilmore adds to its historical significance.

In terms of distribution, the name Gilmore is most commonly found in Northern Ireland and Scotland, reflecting its Irish origins. It is also present in other English-speaking countries, including the United States and Canada, due to migration and diaspora.

As with many surnames, variations and anglicized spellings have emerged over time. These include Gilmor, Gilmour, and Gillmore, among others. It is important to note that while these variations may have slightly different spellings, they are all derived from the same Gaelic root and share a common origin.

Overall, the last name Gilmore carries a sense of Irish heritage and connection to the Gaelic language. It is a reminder of the historical significance and cultural richness of the individuals and families who bear this name.

In exploring the meaning and history of the last name Gilmore, we uncover a fascinating tapestry of Irish heritage, loyalty to clan, and devotion to the Virgin Mary. The Gaelic origins of the name highlight its deep roots in Irish culture, while its association with different septs and professions adds layers to its historical significance. The distribution of the name in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and English-speaking countries further reflects the diaspora and migration of Gilmore families over time.

The variations of the name demonstrate its flexibility and evolution throughout history, while ultimately staying rooted in its Gaelic origin. The last name Gilmore serves as a poignant symbol of Irish heritage and a connection to a rich tapestry of family history and cultural identity.

Interesting facts about the last name Gilmore

  • The surname Gilmore is of Irish origin.
  • It is derived from the Gaelic name Mac Giolla Mhuire, which means “son of the devotee of Mary”.
  • The Mac Giolla Mhuire clan originated in County Fermanagh in Northern Ireland.
  • The name Gilmore is primarily found in Ireland and Scotland.
  • Many Gilmore families emigrated from Ireland to the United States during the 19th and 20th centuries.
  • Famous individuals with the surname Gilmore include astronaut Edward Gilmore and actress Lauren Gilmore.
  • The Gilmore Girls television series, created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, garnered significant popularity and may have contributed to the surname’s recognition.
  • The surname Gilmore is relatively rare, ranking 3,363rd in the United States according to census data.
  • Alternative spellings for the surname include Gilmour, Gillmore, and Gellmore.

Name Rank


There are around 48719 people with the last name Gilmore in the US

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