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Gilpin Surname 
Worldwide Genetic & Genealogy Research 


Worldwide Genetic & Genealogy Research Project

What is it?


This study is about finding all the know Gilpins of the world, collecting and correlating data, making it available at one source for free to all researchers. Why am I doing this? When I started looking for my Father's Gilpin lineage. I became brickwalled at my great grandfather John G. Gilpin, born 1828 in Ohio. I searched for years gathering and setting aside bundles of references to Gilpins. Gilpins from Ireland, Gilpins from Scotland, Gilpins from England, and Gilpins from France, and Holland-Netherlands. I was like others under the assumption that all Gilpins were related. How could you have a surname like Gilpin and not be related. 

In 2005 I started a Y-DNA study of Gilpins, you see I still could not locate any information on John G Gilpin's parents. So, I thought maybe DNA would prove who he was related to and thus break down that wall of bricks, it would at least give me a direction in which to look. But after the first set of Gilpin males tested, three of them, unknown relationship, we found that one of the males G3, was not related to the other two G1 and G2 and that they were related, but that isn't unusual non-parental events happen.  So I went on gathering men to test. In 2011, I found a Gilpin to test from a male Gilpin who lived next door to my Great Grandfather John G. Gilpin, we had assumed that this man Thomas Gilpin almost double John's age was his father but nothing to prove it. The Y-DNA STR test was a perfect match. Although, there is nothing actually stating Thomas is my Great Great Grandfather, the preponderance of bits and pieces of evidence along with the Y-DNA positive relationship, allows me to place Thomas as John G's father. 

At present February 2012, we have 19 Gilpin men tested out of that there are 5 different lineages of Gilpins.  One comparison we know is a Non-parental event, we just don't know which male is the result of the non-parental event. I use the term non-parental event, but you may not know its meaning. First a non-parental event can happen anytime from the first person to assume the name of Gilpin to you living today.  What is it, Momma was unfaithful? Normally no... 99.9 percent of the time when the culprit can be found it is an adoption of some kind. The neighbors die and you take in the children, some times it is that a person wanted to change their identity, or a legal adoption no one knew of or even adopting your sister's child.


While searching for the origin of the Gilpin surname I found four different origins for "OUR" surname.

1. Irish - MacGillifin Anglicized to Gilfin, Gilpin, Gill -  

MacGillifin is an ancient Irish surname. For information on this particular surname see:

The old Irish name for Gilpin was MacGillifin. - SOURCE: email 655 "Irish Pedigrees, Descendants of Fiachra, Vol. 2 pg 564 ; Email at: From: Pat Traynor ; Subject: Ancient Irish names list

These lists from "Irish Pedigrees" by John O'Hart, were copied by a poor typist, so there may be some typos. Pat Traynor 12/96


As many of the ancient Irish sirnames are not recorded in O'Clery's or in MacFirbis's Genealogies, or in the Linea Antiqua, or in the Betham Genealogical Collections, we have collected from "The Topographical Poems of O'Dugan and O'Heerin," "The Tribes and Customs of Hy-Fiachra," and other works published by the Celtic and Archeological Societies in Ireland, the following Irish family names, and the modern anglicised forms which they assumed;


Families of the Hy-Fiachrach - "Irish Pedigrees"   - Descendants of Fiachra, Vol. 2 Pg 564 ; Ulster, Meath, Connaught. Counties Sligo, Mayo, Galway. Meath, etc. ;  The Name- MacGillifin  -Has been modernized as- Gilfin, Gilpin, Gill


2. Norman (?) - deGylpyn includes Gilpin, Gilpinge, Gilpen - de Guylpyn a Surname of Norman Origin I have not found this surname except in relationship with the "Minstrals of Wandemere" poem some Gilpins use to infer this lineage was Norman and connected in some way to William I King of England. Using surname information de means of and Guylpyn should be the name of a place in Normandy.

3. Norman (?) - Galpin - Email in the Galpin surname board at, Yes I heard that the Galpin's went to England with William the Conquerer in 1066. There is a book called the Galpin family of Staffordshire and Dorset, that many Galpin researchers have read. Susposedly with William I's wife was a Johannes de Galpenberg, who worked in her household. Galpenberg was also a village, a commune of Belgium in the Province of East Flanders, a department of Ophasselt. There is also a river and a village of Gulpen in the Duchy of Limbourg. The name Galpin is now more common in France than in England.. Apparently, so it is said, all Galpins in England are descended from Johannes.

The book was written a number of years ago and there are not many copies, one in the Exeter Library and one I believe in the London Museum (something like that anyway). I can't say how much the writer researched his book.

If you go to the website and go to a search page on their catalogue and put in Galpin you will get the details of the book.

Subject: Matilda, Countess of Flanders, Date: Sat, 22 Mar 1997 14:15:46 GMT; Is there a list of Matilda's staff that served with her when she moved to Normandy and subsequently into England with William the Conqueror? My surname is derived from Gapenberg (Galpenberg) a small village in East Flanders where Johanne de Gapenberg reportedly lived before serving for Matilda. The source of my info is a Galpin family ancestry book by George Luck Galpin without footnotes for this clue. However, if it existed for the author early this century, I hope someone still knows how to find it. btw, Gapenberg, Flanders, still exists today


Here is a written report - author unknown to me.. where I got it unknown.. and because of some of my own research know some is incorrect,

but it is interesting and presents some good information Link




4. Scottish (?) - MacAlpine - Anglicized to Gilpin -  Clan MacAlpine website:

Link to information on King Kenneth MacAlpin: 

Some Variant Spellings: 

Albain, Albanach, Albin, Ailpein, Allphin, Alpin, Alpine, Alpyn, Alpynsone, Calpin, Calpine, Culpen, Elphin, Galpin, Galpine, Gilpin, Halpin, Halpine, MacAilpein, MacAlipine, MacAlpan, MacAlpane, MacAlpeine, MacAlpeinne, MacAlpen, MacAlphine, MacAlpin, MacAlpie, MacAlpin, MacAlpy, MacAlpye, MacAlpyn, MacAlpyne, MacApline, MacCalpin, MacCalpine, MacCapie, MacCappie, MacCappin, MacCappine, MacCappy, MacCapy, MacCarpin, MacColpin, MacColpine, MacCoplan, MacCoplin, MacCoppin, MacCoppine, MacCorpin, MacCorpine, Mackalpe, MacKalpin, Makalpe, Makcalpy, Makcalpyn, Malcalpyn, M’Alpen, M’Alpin, M’Alpine, M’Alpyn, McAlpain, McAlpan, McAlpane, McAlpe, McAlpen, McAlphin, McAlphine, McAlpie, McAlpien, McAlpil, McAlpin, McAlpine, McAlpion, McAlpon, McAlpy, McAlpyn, M’Calpin, M’Calppin, M’Calpy, M’Calpyne, M’Cappe, M’Cavpy, McCalpie, McCalpin, McCalpy, McCapen, McCawpyn, McCulpen, McKelpin, M’Kalpie, MkKalpy.

In an email from a Friend:

Also I just saw on the webpage connection to the MacAlpin website that "Gilpin" was a variant spelling.  That does make sense, because the Boar was/is an ancient emblem of the McAlpin clan and Kings since before the union of Scots & Picts by King Kenneth MacAlpin. If any English Herald were to see the "Boar", the first visual response would be the connection to the MacAlpine lineage.  The MacAlpine's were most certainly Scots.  The MacAlpine's were the first line of the Kings of Scotlands.  There would not be any connection to the Norman's.  I suggest you compare DNA with some MacAlpine's to see if there is any connecition.


(Note: We yDNA researchers are trying to find some MacAlpines/Gilpins to test. We have one McAlpine tested. not even a close match. But if interested in testing your McAlpine line, there is now a McAlpine surname group at FamilyTree DNA  )

(From the same person).

I also think it's important to note the nick name of Richard "The Rider".  The term "Rider" would mean that he was active in border forays between Scottish & English Borderers.  Only a few of the clans of Scotland are known as "Riding Clans", the Scotts being one of the "Riding Clans".  I highly suggest you read "Steele Bonnets" by George McDonald-Frazier.  It will give you an excellent idea of what it was like to live there.  And that's why it's makes sense to call people that live there "Borderers" because their politics & loyalties could not always be linked to the side of the border they lived on, or even with the their own kings.  That in some sense, Borderers were a small collection of English & Scottish who had to fend for themselves through governmental support & indifference at different times.


Can you Help?


You most certainly can help. You can provide data on Gilpin families, Obits, Newspaper Articles, School records, Tax Records anything that is used normally for genealogy will be needed here too.  I will list if you want your contact data for any information donated to the website.  If you want to DNA test to see what grouping of Gilpins you connect with I prefer FamilyTreeDNA but I accept Y-STR results from any company testing the Y chromosome.


Good luck finding your Gilpin connection





Nelda Lorraine Percival nee Gilpin

Feb 2012

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Nelda L. Percival, 644 Warbonnet Road, Roach, Missouri, 65787
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Last updated  28 Aug 2013



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