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Gloon Coat of Arms / Gloon Family Crest

The surname of GLOON has been derived from the Gaelic Mac Giolla Eoin, meaning the devotee of St. John. This name belongs to Tyrone and Donegal and is also found in County Leitrim. In Fermanagh and Derry, this, like MacAloon has been absurdly changed to Monday, due to the similarity in the sound of the word Luain. When the sparse Irish population began to increase it became necessary to broaden the base of personal identification by moving from single names to a more definite nomenclature. The prefix MAC was given to the father's christian name, or O to that of a grandfather or even earlier ancestor. Ireland was one of the earliest countries to evolve a system of hereditary surnames. They came into being fairly generally in the 11th century, and indeed a few were formed before the year 1000. At first the coat of arms was purely a practical matter, serving a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With the knight completely encased in armour, the only way he could be spotted by his followers, was by the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat. Early records of the name mention Gylbert McLolane, who appeared on an inquest in 1367, and Gilbert McGloon was a witness in 1381. Cane McGillolane witnessed a foundation charter of Sweetheart Abbey in 1359. The name was taken to Scotland by settlers and a number of persons of the name are recorded in Morar, Invernesshire about 1670. Many factors contributed to the establishment of a surname system. For generations after the Norman Conquest of 1066 a very few dynasts and magnates passed on hereditary surnames, but the main of the population, with a wide choice of first-names out of Celtic, Old English, Norman and Latin, avoided ambiguity without the need for a second name. As society became more stabilized, there was property to leave in wills, the towns and villages grew and the labels that had served to distinguish a handful of folk in a friendly village were not adequate for a teeming slum where perhaps most of the householders were engaged in the same monotonous trade, so not even their occupations could distinguish them, and some first names were gaining a tiresome popularity, especially Thomas after 1170. The hereditary principle in surnames gained currency first in the South, and the poorer folk were slower to apply it. By the 14th century however, most of the population had acquired a second name.

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Last Updated: April 12th, 2023

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