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Surname Gildea - Meaning and Origin

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Gildea: What does the surname Gildea mean?

The last name Gildea is an anglicised version of an Irish Gaelic surname, which is either Ó Gilda, Mac Gilda or Mac Giolla Dá. The literal meaning of Gilda is ‘servant of God’. It originates from the Irish root ‘gill’ which means ‘servant’.

The surname Gildea is most commonly found in counties Donegal, Sligo and Mayo in Ireland. Although the name is associated with the Irish, the origins are unknown and believed to be of Scottish origin.

Gildea is a surname which is quite old, likely originating in the 12th century. In the 17th century, many who bore the name of Gildea were sheep-herders that migrated throughout Ireland due to the poverty strikes of the time.

When the potato famine struck Ireland in the late 19th century, the majority of Gildeas left the country for locations in the United States as well as to other parts of the world, including Britain, Canada, and Australia.

For those bearing the Gildea surname today, the history of the name is something to hold onto in order to connect to their ancestral past. It breathes life into the stories of past generations of Irish people who crossed oceans in order to create a better future for their descendants.

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Gildea: Where does the name Gildea come from?

The surname Gildea is an Irish name of ancient Gaelic origin, which means "servant of God". It is derived from the Old Irish word "gilla", meaning "servant". The name is found primarily in counties Donegal, Monaghan, and Fermanagh in the northwest of the island of Ireland. It remains one of the most common surnames in these areas today.

The dispersal of the Gildea clan was wider than just Ireland. Beginning in the 17th century, there was a substantial increase in Irish emigration, particularly to North America and Australia. Today, the Gildea surname is seen in places like the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States and Australia.

In recent decades, the Gildea surname has become spread out across the globe. It is seen in countries like France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and many more. In addition, there is evidence of a significant number of Gildea families living in South Africa, India, the Caribbean nation of Jamaica and the United States of America.

The Gildea surname is one which reflects a rich Irish history and reminder of Ireland's roots. It is a name which continues to appear on registry and population documents in family households around the world, as it has done for centuries.

Variations of the surname Gildea

The surname Gildea has many variants, spellings and surnames of the same origin, including Gilday, Gildey, Gildy, Gilday, Gildy, Gillea, Gilleo, Gilley and Gilleye.

The Gildea surname is believed to have originated from the Irish Gaelic surname O’Giolla Dé, which became anglicised as Gildea. This surname is also believed to have been taken from the phrase "giolla dé" meaning "servant of God" or "devotee of God".

Gildea can also be found in numerous other origins such as Scottish Gaelic, Welsh and Norse. In Scottish Gaelic, Gildea is spelled "Gille Dhà" and is taken from the phrase meaning "servant of two", referring to God and an earlier ancestor. In Welsh, Gildea is spelled "Gil Ddu", meaning "dark servant". Lastly, the Norse spelling of Gildea "Gill Dy" translates roughly to "servant of Dag", referring to Kuld Dag of Norse mythology.

Gildea is also common in the United States and Canada. In the United States, variants of the name include Gilday, Gildy and Gilday. In Canada, Gildea is often spelled Gillea, Gilleo and Gilley.

Regardless of its spelling, the Gildea surname is believed to refer to a devoted Christian ancestor, reflecting the strong religious values of the Irish people.

Famous people with the name Gildea

  • Stephen Gildea, Film actor
  • Arthur Gildea, Bishop of Arlington
  • Louis Gildea, Professor of French at Stony Brook University
  • Alan Gildea, Member of the Society for Horse Racing Research
  • Jon Gildea, former British Army Officers
  • Francis Gildea, Retired Major General
  • Felicia Gildea, Economist
  • Ralph N Gildea, Professor of Art and Photography at Seton Hall University
  • Joe Gildea, American Football player
  • Craig Gildea, Irish Gaelic footballer
  • Augustus Gildea, recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor
  • Walker Gildea, Writer & Wildlife Photographer
  • Ryan Gildea, Professional ice hockey player
  • Bill Gildea, British-born actor
  • William Gildea, Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Manchester
  • Justin Gildea, Contestant on American Idol
  • Jake Gildea, Professional gamer

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