The surname (Mc)Gillick is a patronymic adopted by a branch of the Burkes of Connacht, and originates from the Irish Mag Uilic, meaning 'son of Ulick'. Mag is a form of Mac (son) used in old Irish names before vowels. William is Uilliam in Gaelic, and 'William the Younger' is Uilliam Og. As time passed, Uilliam Og was contracted to Uilleog, anglicized Ulick, which literally means 'young William', but has also come to mean 'little William'. The name Ulick came into use amongst the Burkes in the 14th century, and was originally peculiar to this family.
The 'Division of Connacht and Thomond' places the land of Clan Henry in the barony of Dunkellin, and names among the gentlemen and their castles:
Hubert McEdmund McUllig: Cloghestokin
Richard McUllig: Saeffyne
Ullig Laragh McEdmund and his brethren: Gortenemakyn
Shane McEdmund McUllig: Row
Shane Reowgh: Cragymulgreny
Shane fitzjohn Burke: Manen
Edmund McUllig's sonnes: Cahergeale
The Composition of Clanricard in 1585, states that 'Pobbil Clanhenry' of the east comprised 28 quarters. The principal seat of the MacHenry Burkes was Gortnamackan. This castle is in that townland in the part of the parish of Kilchrist which is in Dunkellin barony. Cahergal also is in that townland of Killogilleen parish. Creggymulgreny is now shortened to Cregg Castle. These castles form a group in the east of the barony.
In the Elizabethan Fiants (1554â€“1601) there are no less than 51 persons of the name mentioned, spelled in 12 variant forms (usually MacUlick, MacUllock, etc.). The majority of these are in Connacht, mainly co. Galway, and they frequently appear in association with Burkes, as also do quite a number in Munster. There were no (Mc)Gillicks at that time in the Cavan-Meath area. And none are listed as being there in the 1659 census (but Cavan is missing from it). There is only one entry for the name in the Fiants of Henry VIII to Mary: one James Willock, a kern (lightly armed fighting man) of Ballybretnagh, Co. Westmeath. It was the opinion of Edward MacLysaght, first Chief Herald of Ireland, that the surname (Mc)Gillick was likely taken to the adjoining counties of Cavan and Meath by migrating kerns of that name, who began families which, in due course, multiplied and originated the considerable number of persons found there in the 1800s.
Breakdown by area
Griffith's Valuation (c. 1853), listing land or house holders, shows as follows: Co. Cavan Castlerahan: 32 Gillick, 1 McGillick Clanmahon: 4 Gillick, 0 McGillick Clonkee: 0 Gillick, 5 McGillick Loughtree Upper: 1 Gillick, 9 McGillick Tullygarvey: 3 Gillick, 3 McGillick Co. Meath Fore: 7 Gillick, 0 McGillick Kells Lower: 0 Gillick, 1 McGillick Kells Upper: 5 Gillick, 4 McGillick Navan Lower: 0 Gillick, 1 McGillick Navan Upper: 1 Gillick, 0 McGillick The Tithe Applotment Books of a generation earlier indicate that all those families were in the same area then. Nineteenth century records show the (Mc)Gillicks to have been then almost exclusively in the Cavan-Meath area.
Frequency of the name in Ireland
In Robert Matheson's Special Report on Surnames in Ireland is a list showing names having five entries or upwards in the Birth Indexes of 1890. In this list the name (Mc)Gillick appears nine times for the whole of Irelandâ€”eight instances being in Co. Cavan and one in the Province of Munster. MacLysaght felt that the majority of the (Mc)Gillicks in Connacht and Munster, separated from others of their name who had migrated east, most likely reverted to their original surname of Burke. Presently, apart from instances of families of the name who have moved to Dublin or other large urban centers, the name (Mc)Gillick is practically unknown in Ireland outside the Cavan-Meath area, and even there the name is now very rare due, in large part, to 19th century emigration to England, Scotland, and North America.
Arms: Or, a cross Gules, in the first quarter a lion's head erased Sable, langued Gules. Crest: A demi-catamount rampant guardant proper, ducally gorged and chained Or. Motto: Ung Je Serviray (One Will I Serve).
People with the surname
Victoria Gillick, a Catholic family campaigner
David Gillick, Irish track and field athlete
Ernest Gillick, British sculptor
James Gillick, British artist
Liam Gillick, British artist
Mary Gillick, British sculptor
Pat Gillick, American baseball executive
Torrance Gillick, Scottish footballer
Gillick competence, a term in medical law
Griffith, R.; General Valuation of Ireland
Knox R.Y.; "The de Burgo Clans of Galway" in the Journal of the Galway Historical Society
MacLysaght E.; Irish Surnames
Matheson, R.E.; Special Report on Surnames in Ireland
Pender S.; Census of Ireland, 1659
Woulfe Rev. P.; Irish Names and Surnames
Genealogical Office Sources
Dublin Grants and Wills to 1858 Fiants (temp. Henry VIII to Elizabeth) G.O. MS 429 G.O. MS 469 G.O. MS 470 Grants of Arms Prerogative Wills Registered Pedigrees Unofficial Pedigrees Category:English-language surnames Category:House of Burke