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Gilpatrick Coat of Arms / Gilpatrick Family Crest

Gilpatrick Coat of Arms / Gilpatrick Family Crest

This Scottish surname of GILPATRICK is in Gaelic GILLEPHADRUIG meaning 'the servant of Patrick'. This was the name of a 5th century Romano-Britain who became the apostle of Ireland, and it was largely as a result of his fame that the given name was so popular in the Middle Ages. The name was first introduced in its Latin form PATRICIUS, meaning the son of a noble father, a member of the patrician class, and a member of the Roman hereditary-aristocracy. Surnames as we recognise them today are believed to have been introduced by the Normans after the Invasion of 1066. The first mention of such names appears in the Domesday Book and they were progressively adopted between the 11th and 15th centuries. It was the nobles and upper classes who first assumed a second name, setting them apart from the common people who continued to use only the single name given to them at birth. It was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) that is became common practice to use a secondary name, originally a name reflecting the place of birth, a nickname, an occupational name or a baptismal name which had been passed on from a parent to the child, as an additional means of identification. A serf named GILLEPATRIC made a gift to the Abbey of Dumfermline. circa. 1126, and GILLEPATRIC mac IMPETHIN is mentioned in 1150. GILPATR filius MALBRID was a witness in 1240, and GILPATRICK Mac GILBEG was a juror on an inquest on the lands of Mefth in 1262. It was not until the 10th century that modern hereditary surnames first developed, and the use of fixed names spread, first to France, and then England, then to Germany and all of Europe. In these parts of Europe, the individual man was becoming more important, commerce was increasing and the exact identification of each man was becoming a necessity. Even today however, the Church does not recognise surnames. Baptisms and marriages are performed through use of the Christian name alone. Thus hereditary names as we know them today developed gradually during the 11th to the 15th century in the various European countries.


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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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