What is the origin of the last name Kilgore?

The last name Kilgore has its origins in Scotland. It is believed to be derived from the Gaelic personal name "Mac Giolla Ghuirm," meaning "son of the blue servant" or "devotee of Saint Gorm," an early Christian missionary. The surname evolved from MacGiollaGhuirm to MacGilgorm and was later anglicized to Kilgore. This ancient Scottish name has a rich history and is often associated with clans and families in the Highlands region.

Countries of origin for the last name Kilgore

The last name Kilgore is of Scottish origin. It is a locational surname derived from the place name “Kilgour” in Fife, Scotland. The name is composed of two elements: “Kil”, which means “church” in Gaelic, and “gour”, which refers to a bend or loop in a river.

Kilgore is a relatively uncommon surname in the United States. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, it ranks 7,840th in frequency among all surnames in the country. The surname is primarily found in the Southeastern region of the United States, particularly in states like Tennessee, Kentucky, Texas, and Georgia.

Variant spellings of Kilgore include Kilgour and Kilgoar. These variants may reflect different anglicizations or regional pronunciations of the surname over time.

As with many Scottish surnames, the history of Kilgore can be traced back several centuries. The first recorded instance of the surname dates back to the early 14th century, where a John of Kilgour is mentioned in historical documents. Over the centuries, the surname has likely undergone variations in spelling, pronunciation, and even meaning.

In terms of etymology, Kilgore can be analyzed by examining its constituent parts. “Kil” is derived from the Gaelic word “cill” or “cille”, which means “church”. This reflects the importance of the church in the formation of local place names in Scotland. The second element, “gour”, denotes a bend or loop in a river, suggesting that Kilgore may have been located near such a geographical feature.

Understanding the meaning of the surname Kilgore involves considering both its locational and etymological origins. The name signifies a connection to the place named “Kilgour” in Fife, Scotland, as well as an association with a church and a nearby bend in a river. This suggests that individuals bearing the surname may have ancestral ties to the Kilgour region or its surrounding area.

While our knowledge of the last name Kilgore is based on available historical records and research, it is important to acknowledge the potential for gaps in our understanding. The surname’s history and meaning may contain further nuances and details that have yet to be uncovered. Exploring these possibilities can provide a sense of intrigue and curiosity, contributing to the ongoing fascination with genealogy and name etymology.

Interesting facts about the last name Kilgore

  • The surname Kilgore is of Scottish origin and is derived from the Gaelic personal name “Cillín Odhair,” which means “dark-haired youth.”
  • It is believed that the Kilgore surname originated in the western region of Scotland, specifically in areas such as Ayrshire and Dumfriesshire.
  • Kilgore is a relatively uncommon surname, but it can be found in different parts of the world due to migration and emigration patterns over the centuries.
  • During the Scottish Highland Clearances in the 18th and 19th centuries, many individuals with the surname Kilgore migrated to other countries, particularly the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
  • The Kilgore family name gained prominence in the United States during the 20th century, with numerous notable individuals carrying the surname and making significant contributions in various fields.
  • In popular culture, the surname Kilgore is associated with the fictional character Colonel Walter E. Kurtz, portrayed by Marlon Brando in the film “Apocalypse Now.” Kurtz utters the famous line, “I love the smell of napalm in the morning,” which has become iconic.
  • There are different variations of the Kilgore surname, including Kilgour, Kilduff, and Killgore, among others.
  • The Kilgore family name has been adopted by various businesses, organizations, and products, further adding to its recognition and relevance.
  • Genealogical research and DNA testing have allowed individuals with the surname Kilgore to trace their ancestral roots back to Scotland, uncovering connections and building a sense of heritage.
  • The Kilgore surname continues to be passed down through generations, maintaining its cultural and historical significance for those who bear the name today.

Name Rank


There are around 21627 people with the last name Kilgore in the US

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