The origin of the name

January 24, 2011

It’s been a little while since I posted anything on the blog mainly because I have been having trouble sourcing anything on my own Gilmour heritage. But in the meantime there have been some fantastic additions by way of comments to the Ballantyne & Gilmour pages. The most recent this weekend from Sophia Ballantyne who writes on the Ballantyne page;

“While I was interested to read about your version of the name, we have always believed that this comes directly from the gaelic, Baille ( a farmer)-an- (in the or of the)deadhain (valley, fertile ground. As far as I know up until the 16th centuary, agriculture was the family buisiness until the 17th centuary when William became a weaver in Galashiels and his decendant, Henry founded a mill which was the beginnings of Henry Ballantyne and Sons – in the 20th centuary – branching outinto hosiery with the famous Ballantyne’s cashmere being made in the neighbouring village of Innerleithen”

Absolutely fascinating stuff and there is equally exciting historical background on the Gilmour & Curtis pages. If you can add to the wider picture please get in touch.

Gilmour name origin

June 25, 2007

Some possible derivations

  1. Scottish and Irish (Ulster): reduced Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Gille Mhoire (Scots), Mac Giolla Mhuire (Irish), patronymics from personal names meaning ‘servant of (the Virgin) Mary’.
  2. Irish: in Armagh, reduced Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Giolla Mhura ‘servant of St. Mura (of Fahan, Donegal)’ or, in Sligo, of Mac Giolla Mhir ‘son of the spirited lad’.

Motto: ‘Nil penna usus’ – i.e. ‘Not the quill but its use’

Gillemore, Gaelic, the henchman or follower of the chief, one who carried the chief’s broadsword, from gille, a servant, and mor, large, great.

Where do I start?

June 29, 2006

This is the question that I have posed myself recently and has been the reason why I have struggled to get enthused about family history work. 

The Gilmour side of things is quite complicated in the last three generations.   So the first place to start is with existing relatives.  That is easy said then done.  Having no contact with my natural father, by default means that my contact with the Gilmour side of the family is somewhat limited. 

So if like me, your options for contacting living relatives is limited then ask them anyway you may be surprised what you find out.  So I asked my mum and she mentioned that my Aunt and Uncle knew a little about the family tree so they could be a pretty good starting point.   

The Diary has moved

March 24, 2006

Just to let you know, if you have bookmarked this site as the diary site that we have imported all of our diary now over to it’s permanent home at   it can still be accessed by using

Be prepared for the changes to this area of the website. 

To return to our homepage click here on