Gillespie Surname Origin
The Gaelic for Archibald, from Gille, a youth or servant, and speach, a word
expressive of quickness and sharpness in battle; spuaic, Gaelic, to break the
head, to knock. May be associated with Clan MACPHERSON.
It is said to be the Anglicized form of Scottish Gille Easbaig or
Irish Giolla Easpuig both meaning "servant of the bishop"
Gillespie DNA Project
There is a MAC/MCPHERSON DNA PROJECT at FTDNA. We encourage
new participants with the surname MAC/MCPHERSON and the associated families to
join this project first. As of April 2007 the MAC/MCPHERSON project has 20
participants. If DNA proves that you match a GILLESPIE we will cross-post your
Connie McKenzie, Administrator of the Gillespie DNA Project, is Co -
Administrator of the MacPherson DNA Project.
The Gillespie DNA Surname Project began in November 2004. The first DNA test kit
was received by FTDNA in December 2004. As of April 2007, we now have 52
participants, and the results of 42 Gillespie descendants.
November 2006 -- we now have representatives of five of the well-known Gillespie
lines of early America participating in this DNA project:
GROUP 1 -- Thomas Gillespie, b. 1719 and Naomi Thompson of Rowan Co. NC.
* Col. George Gillespie, b. 1735 of the Watauga Settlement and Limestone,
Washington Co. TN. DNA has connected this line to Thomas Gillespie and Naomi
GROUP 2 -- William Gillespie of the famous Gillespie Rifle makers and his
brother Robert Gillespie. DNA has connected many off-shoot lines to this family
GROUP 3 -- The Gillespie line from Pickens Co. South Carolina.
GROUP 5 -- James Gillespie and wife Jennet of the Beverly Manor, Virginia and
later in Blount Co. TN.
April 2007 -- We just found a descendant of Col. George Gillespie for testing.
Col. Daniel Gillespie (1743-1829), a brother of Col. John, secured a grant from
Earl Granville on South Buffalo, just south of Greensboro, NC about 1765. His
wife was Margaret Hall, and their children were Daniel, John, James, Nancy,
Anne, Robert, Patrick and Thankful. Col. John Gillespie was born in 1741 in
Frederick County, Va., and came to the Greensboro area in 1762, and secured a
grant from Earl Granville for 640 acres on the south side of South Buffalo. His
wife was Elizabeth, and their children were Daniel, James S., Elizabeth and
Anna. Guilford County, NC was formed in 1771 from parts of Rowan Co. NC and
Orange Co. NC.
Documented descendants of these Gillespie families are needed for
* Matthew Gillespie and wife Lucy.
* Gillespies who lived in Lancaster Co. PA and Prince Edward Co. VA and married
into the Ewing family.
* Joseph Gillespie of Coddle Creek Church
* Col. Daniel Gillespie of VA
* Thomas Gillespie and wife Eleanor of VA
* Rev. George Gillespie lines of Scotland with proven lineage
* Any GILLESPIE families that can trace their lineage back to Scotland
The link above will take you to a discussion group for the Gillespie DNA
Project. Use this forum to discuss your DNA matches, ask questions or to
recruit participants to DNA test for your Gillespie line. You can post
information about your individual Gillespie line by sharing your genealogy
research in messages or files. You can also add photos to this site, and add a
link to your own family website. We have a similar site for the MACPHERSON DNA
We have discovered through the DNA testing of early project members that
there are many separate and unique family lines. So far, no DNA sequence (haplotype)
can be identified as representative of the GILLESPIE/MAC/MCPHERSON surnames.
However, recent matches have allowed us to establish the haplotype for specific
My name is Connie McKenzie. I am the administrator of the GILLESPIE SURNAME
DNA PROJECT. Richard Gillespie is the co-administator. We "met" several
years ago while researching our GILLESPIE ancestors on the internet. Our
great-great-grandfathers were brothers, and descendants of THOMAS GILLESPIE and
NAOMI THOMPSON of Rowan Co. North Carolina.
Charles Moore, our Project Analyst is a Gillespie descendant who's line
is connected with DNA GROUP 2, the Gillespie Rifle Makers.
The GILLESPIE SURNAME DNA PROJECT is especially interested in finding documented
male Gillespie descendants from the following line:
Rev. GEORGE GILLESPIE, b. 1683 in Scotland and d. 01-02-1760 in Newark, New
Castle Co. Delaware.
Rev. GEORGE GILLESPIE, b. 1683 was a Presbyterian minister at White Clay Creek
http://www.accessible.com/amcnty/DE/Delaware/Delaware47.htm and Head of
Christiana Church. His wife was REBECCA ALLISON. The parents of Rev. GEORGE b.
1683 were Rev. GEORGE GILLESPIE b. 1644 in Scotland and wife ANN GARNER. His
grandparents were Rev. GEORGE GILLESPIE b. Jan. 21, 1612/13 in Scotland,
http://www.electricscotland.com/history/other/gillespie_george.htm and wife
DNA LINKS AND BOOKS:
International Society of Genetic Genealogy
Genetic Genealogy Questions and Answers for Beginners from the International
Society of Genetic Genealogy
This is a discussion group for DNA NEWBIES at Yahoo sponsored by the
International Society of Genetic Genealogy
Kerchner's DNA Testing & Genetic Genealogy Info and Resources Page
This site - Genetealogy.com...Genealogy and Genetics was created by Megan
Smolenyak Smolenyak, one of the co-authors of "Trace Your Roots with DNA."
This email list is specifically for exchange of information and ideas connected
to the use of DNA testing for genealogy. Members range from DNA neophites to
scientists. You will get LOTS of mail every day if you subscribe to this list -
and expect heated debates. The DNA "newbies" as the list calls them, can get
lost in the shuffle of those interested in "deep ancestry" and statistics - so
http://archiver.rootsweb.com/th/index/GENEALOGY-DNA This is the link to the
archives for Genealogy-DNA if you don't want to subscribe to the email list
"Trace Your Roots with DNA" by Megan Smolenyak and Ann Turner.
"The Seven Daughters of Eve" by Bryan Sykes.
GILLESPIE FAMILY HISTORY:
This is a great website created by Norma Gillespie of Canada. She has collected
Gillespie records and links to the work of Gillespie family researchers
throughout the world! Take a look!
This site has some terrific photography as well as written histories and links
about some GILLESPIES and related families. Maybe you'll find your line here -
and if you do we certainly want you in this DNA project!
This is a link to the Gillespie Rifle Works run by a descendant of the famous
Gillespie rifle makers
This site gives some history on the origins of the name GILLESPIE, and the
existance of Clan Gillespie.
CLAN MACPHERSON ASSOCIATION:
GILLESPIE is a sept of CLAN MACPHERSON. Information about the history of the
GILLESPIE name and CLAN MACPHERSON can be found on this website:
GILLESPIE's are part of Clan Chattan through their association with Clan
SUGGESTED READING: History
Scots and Scots Descendants in America, pub. 1917: online book
History of Lancaster Co. Pennsylvania, pub. 1883: online book -- this was the
starting point in America for many Scots and Scots/Irish
SCOTTISH, IRISH AND NORTH AMERICAN HISTORY AND SOCIETIES: These sites are
not affiliated with the Gillespie Surname DNA Project, however, Gillespie
researchers may find information at these sites helpful.
Some famous Gillespie's are:
January 6, 1993
Dizzy Gillespie was one of the most
famous composers of be-bop, a form of modern jazz that he created along with
pianist Thelonious Monk, drummer Kenny Clarke, guitarist Charlie Christian, and
alto saxophonist Charlie "Yardbird" Parker. Gillespie contributed an enormous
amount to jazz and modern music and he played up until he died, which was on
this day, January 6, 1993. Gillespie described be-bop as music with a different
accent, " ... on the up beat. Instead of OO-bah, it's oo-BAH. Different chords
MAJOR GENERAL SIR ROBERT
County Down, Ireland 1766-1814
soldier had an extensive military career, in the American Carribean, Indonesia
and India, and was finally killed while leading an attack in Nepal. His career
was printed in the Gillespie Family Newsletter in 2001.
MAJOR GENERAL GEORGE L. GILLESPIE 1841-1913
A Civil War Congressional Medal of Honor recipient. Graduated from USMA in 1862
and was posted as a First Lieutenant in the US Regular Army Corps of Engineers.
He was awarded the medal for bravery in Virginia re an incident May 31st, for
voluntarily making his way through enemy lines to communicate with General
Sherman. Captured, he escaped, and, almost captured again, he fled through
firing lines to fulfill his mission. He remained in the army after the war and
rose through its ranks.
ARNOLD "Buddy' GILLESPIE 1899 - 1978
A Hollywood special effects pioneer. His career spanned 40 years, and more
than 130 films. His best known work was
Wizard of Oz
(1753-1822) & his three sons,:
gun maker. Wife Jane Harvey. They made the
famous Gillespie rifles used by early pioneers, including Daniel Boone. John is
buried in East Fork, Transylvania Co., North Carolina., where he lived most of
his life. He was the son of William Gillespie and Mary of Virginia. John took
his family twice to the Pendelton District of South Carolina, where
two of his children were born, but
returned to reside in East Fork.
Aug 6, 1905 to June 30, 2001 -
Eminent Psychoanalyst developing Freud's ideas
on sex and death. (This information submitted by Jim Byrnes). From Newry,
County Down, Ireland, son of missionary parents in China.
a Secret Agent for President James Knox Polk
during the Mexican American War - notes from Derek Hastings family history
JAMES GILLESPIE BLAINE, US Congressman, Senator,
Secretary of State, & Presidential Candidate, Republican Party. 1830-1893.
GILLESPIE (1747-1805) of North Carolina - Member of Congress, State
House of Commons 1784-1786.
HON. EVELYN GILLESPIE
New Democratic Party, Legislative Assembly of
British Columbia, Minister of Women's Equality, 2000