Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Gore Name
Gore Surname Name Meaning, Origin, History, & Etymology
This is a locational or habitational last name meaning “at the gore” or “at the gore way”, denoting a person who lived on a small, narrow strip of land, or a triangular piece of land (itself deriving the name from a triangular piece let into a garment called a gore). There were various locales bearing this name in places such as Kent and Wiltshire in England. It derives from the word gar, meaning a spear, a reference to the shape of the spearhead. One source states the Old English word is gara. A second theory is that this derived from a French nickname for an idle and gluttonous person, from the Old French word gore, meaning sow (an imitative word representing the grunting of an animal). In his book, Lugdus Patronymicus, author Richard Stephen Charnock, states this name is the same as Goar, Gower, Grover, from the Welsh named Guyr (Grower), meaning “sloping”, or perhaps a small stream. He also notes the Welsh word gofwr or govwr means a tower or strong mound. He also notes one author states the name derives from a type of cake that was once made for children. Lastly, one source asserts the name originated in Flanders (modern day Belgium and Netherlands) and was brought to England through trade. This same source also says the name may have originated in Normandy France, being an Old French spelling or form of the personal (first) name George.
Some spelling variants or names with similar etymologies include Goreway, Goar, Gour, Goure, Goore, Gorey, Gorie, Goree, Jore, Joret, and others.
Popularity & Geographic Distribution
The last name Gore ranks 1,326th in popularity in the United Status as of the 2000 Census. The name ranks particularly high in the following six states: South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. The surname Gore frequency/commonness ranks as follows in the British Isles: England (1,259th), Scotland (2,871st), Wales (934th), Ireland (2,105th) and Northern Ireland (3,129th). In England, it ranks highest in county Huntingdonshire. In Scotland, the surname ranks highest in Orkney. In Wales, it ranks highest in Radnorshire. In Ireland, it ranks highest in Dublin. In Northern Ireland, it ranks highest in Antrim. The name is also present throughout the remainder English speaking world: Canada (4,158th), New Zealand (1,388th), Australia (1,579th), and South Africa (3,527th).
Early Bearers of the Surname
Ralph de la Gare was recorded in the Pipe Rolls of Kent in 1181 AD. The Hundred Rolls of 1273 AD, a census of Wales and England, known in Latin as Rotuli Hundredorum lists three bearers of this surname: William ad le Gorewege (Cambridge), Alan atte Gore (Essex), and William de Gora (Wiltshire). The Placita de Quo Warranto documents one Thomas de la Gore in county Suffolk in 1291 AD. Kirby’s Quest records Simon atte Gore and Adam Gorwedge in Somerset, England in 1327 AD. The Poll Tax of Yorkshire in 1379 AD lists one bearer of this last name: Adam Grengore. An early marriage involving this surname was Mary Gore to Thomas Pegrim in 1619 AD. Another early marriage was Rychard Gore to Margaret Potkyn in All Saints, Maidstone, in 1544 AD. An early baptism involving this surname was Joane Gore in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, England in 1545 AD.
Gore Family Tree & Gore Genealogy
The following is a discussion of five different noble, royal, landed, or aristocratic families bearing this last name.
Gore-Langton of Newtown Park
The lineage or ancestry of this branch of the Gore family tree begins with a mention of Sir John Gore, Knight and Lord Mayor of London, son of Gerard Gore) who married Hester, daughter of Sir Thomas Campbell, and died in 1636, having a son also named John. His son, Sir John Gore, Knight of Gilstone, county Hertfordshire, England, married Bridget Harrington, and died in 1659, whereupon he was succeeded by his brother William. This William Gore was of Morden, county Surrey, England and also Barrow Court, Somerset, and he married Jane, daughter of Thomas Smith of Tedworth, Wilts, and had a son and successor with her named Thomas. This Sir Thomas Gore married Philippa, co-heir of Sir Giles Tooker of Maddington, and had issue with her as follows: William, Thomas, Edward, Jane (married Richard Baskerville of Richardston), and Anne (married Mr. Stear). His son, Edward, married Arabella, sister and co-heir of Sir John Smyth of Long Ashton, and had issue with her. He died in 1742. His heir was his second son, also named Edward. This son Edward Gore, Esquire, married Barbara, daughter and sole heiress of Sir George Browne of Kiddington Park by Lady Barbara Lee, with whom he had two sons: William (his heir) and Reverend Charles (of Barrow Court, married Harriet Little and had sons named Montague, William Charles, and George). He was succeeded by his eldest son William Gore Langton, Esquire of Newton Park. This William was born in 1760 and was a Colonel of the Oxford Militia. In 1783, he first married Bridget, daughter and heiress of Joseph Langton of Newton Park, and had four children with her as follows: William (of Combe Hay, married Jacinthia Frances Dorothea, daughter of Henry Powel Collins of Hatch Beaucamp and had a son named William Henry Powell Gore Langton), Edward (Captain of the 52nd Regiment), John (an officer in the army who died at Ceylon, modern day Sri Lanka), and Frances Matilda. He secondly married Mary, daughter of John Browne of Salperton, and had four children with her as follows: William Henry (of Clifton, Justice of the Peace, Deputy Lieutenant, Member of Parliament, married Maria Lewis, had a son named William Frederick who was a Lieutenant in the North Somerset Yeomanry, secondly married Mary Anne Williams of Pwll-y-Pant, Wales), John Frederick (Captain Grenadier Guards), Mary Henrietta (married Sir J.N. Burgoyne, Baronet of Sutton Park), Caroline Maria (married Colonel D’Oyly of the Grenadier Guards). He died in 1847 and was succeeded by his grandson. This grandson was William Henry Power Gore-Langton, Esquire of Newtown Park and Hatch Beauchamp, Justice of the Peace, Deputy Lieutenant, and Member of Parliament for West Somerset who was born in 1824. In 1846, he married Lady Anne Eliza Mary, daughter of Richard Plantagenet, Duke of Buckingham, and had issue with her as follows: William Stephen (see below), Henry Powell (Lieutenant 72nd Highlanders), Edward Grenville (born 1858), Mary Jane (married Henry Mills Skrine, son of H.D. Shrike of Warleigh Manor), and Francis Anne. He died in 1873 and was succeeded by his son, William Stephen Gore-Langton, an Esquire of Newton Park, county Somerset, England, Justice of the Peace, Deputy Lieutenant, and Captain of the North Somerset Yeomanry Cavalry who was born in 1847. In 1870, he married Helen Mabel, daughter of Sir Graham Montgomery, Baronet and Member of Parliament, and fathered five children with her as follows: Algernon William Stephen (1871), Chandos Graham, Gertrude Alice, Mabel Evelyn, and Alice Mary. The Gore Coat of Arms (mistakenly called the Gore Family Crest or Gore Family Shield by those unfamiliar with heraldry and genealogy) is blazoned in heraldry as follows: Quarterly; 1st and 4th, quarterly sable and or, a bend argent, for Langton; 2nd and 3rd, gules, a fess between three crosses crosslet fitchee or, for Gore. Crests: 1st, Langton, and eagle or, a wyvern vert, their necks entwined reguardant; 2nd, Gore, an heraldic tiger salient argent collared gules. Motto: In hoc signo vinces. The family is seated at Newton Park, near Bath, England, Great Britain or modern day United Kingdom.
Gore of Tyredagh Castle
The Gore genealogy begins with John Gore, Esquire of Clonroad, county Clare, married Jane, daughter of John Tayler, Esquire of Ballynorth, and had issue with her as follows: Francis (his heir), Charles, Ellen, Gertrude (married Thomas Hickman of Barntic), and Susanna (married John King and later Richard Smyth). He died in 1700. His heir was his son Francis, an Esquire of Clonroad, county Clare, Ireland, who was a Brigadier General in 1710. Francis married Catherine, daughter of Sir Arthur Gore, Baronet of Newton Gore in county Mayo, and had the following issue with her: Arthur (his heir), Reverend Francis (ancestor of Vernon Gore of Derryluskan), John, Gertrude, Ellen, and Isabella. He died in 1733 and was succeeded by his eldest son Arthur. This Arthur Gore, Esq. of Clonrad married Mabella, daughter and sole heir of John Cusack of Kilkessen, and left, with a daughter named Jane (married William Ryves) and a son named Francis. Francis was an Esquire of Derrymore, county Clare, Ireland, who was a Colonel in the army who married Anne Lewis, having a son with her, also named Francis. This son Francis Gore, Esq. of Derrymore, in 1797, married Christiana Emma, daughter of Sir Joseph Peacoke, Baronet of Barntie, and had two sons with her: Francis (his heir) and Joseph (of Derrymore). He was succeeded by the elder son, Francis, an Esquire of Tyredagh Castle who was born in 1800. In 1824, this Francis married Mary, daughter and co-heir of Edmond Browne of Newgrove, and had issue: Francis, Edmond, Thomas Browne, Poole Hickman, Anne, Letitia Jane, Mary, Eliza, and Christna Emma. His son Francis Gore, Esquire of Tyredagh Castle, county Clare, was a Justice of the Peace and High Sheriff, who in 1855, married Ellen, daughter of William Studdert, and had issue with her. The Gore Coat of Arms (mistakenly called the Gore Family Crest) for this branch of the family tree is has the following heraldic blazon: Gules, a fess between three crosses-crosslet fitchee or. Crest: An heraldic tiger salient argent collared gules. Motto: In hoc signo vinces. This family was seated at Tyredagh Castle, Tulla, Ireland.
Gore of Derrymore
The lineage or ancestry of this branch of the Gore family tree begins with Joseph Gore, an Esquire of Derrymore, Ireland, son of Francis Gore and Emma Peacoke, who married Margaret, daughter of Reverend Richard Bagwell, and had a daughter with her named Margaret (married Arthur Henley of the 52nd Light Infantry) and a son named Edward Arthur Gore. Edward Arthur was an Esquire of Derrymore who was born in 1839 who became a Justice of the Peace and Major Inniskilling Dragoons.
Vernon Gore of Derryluskan
This is a branch of the Gore family of Tyredagh Castle. The Gore genealogy of this line begins with a mention of Reverend Francis Gore, son of Brigadier General Francis Gore, of Clonroad and Catherine Gore. He married Frances, daughter of Sir Robert Gore of Newton, and had a son with her named Francis as well. This son, Francis Lawrence Gore, Esquire, first married Ms. Croker of Ballinagard and had a son with her, and he secondly married Ellinor, daughter of Colonel Kingsmill Pennefather, of New Park, county Tipperary, Member of Parliament, with whom he had the following issue: George, John (killed at the Battle of Bunker Hill on 1775), Georgiana Katherine. The elder son, Captain George Gore, in 1774, married Catherine, daughter of Lawrence Clutterbuck of Derryluskan and Margaret Prittie, and had issue with her as follows: Reverend Francis Lawrence (married Penelope of Francis Ellis, had daughter named Margaretta) and George (Lieutenant Colonel, married Lydia Smyth), John (Rear Admiral, married Anne Tucker Gilbert), Margaret, Catherine, and Lavinia. The Gore Arms are blazoned as follows: Gules, on a fess between three crosses-crosslet or, a trefoil vert. Crest: A heraldic tiger salient argent, collared gules. Motto: In hoc signo vinces. Georgina Katherine Vernon-Gore of county Tipperary, in 1828, married Charles Vernon, son of Lieutenant Colonel Brabazon Vernon, and fathered four children with her as follows: Charles Parker Venables (born 1829), Harcourt (born 1835), Ellen Caroline (married Lieutenant Colonel Gustavus Hume), and Caroline Diana (married William Ruxton of Ardee House). She assumed, by royal license, the additional arms and name of Gore per the will of her cousin, Lieutenant Colonel George Gore.
The lineage, genealogy, and ancestry of this family begins with Sir Paul Poule Gore, 1st Baronet, of Magherabegg, county Donegal, Ireland, a Captain of Horse, who obtained large territorial land grants, which he condensed into Manor Gore, in the 1500s or 1600s AD. He was created a Baronet of Ireland in 1621. He married Isabella, daughter of Francis Wickliffe, and had six sons with her and seven daughters, including: Sir Ralph (2nd Baronet), Sir Arthur (ancestor of the Earl of Arran and the Gores of Woodford, Leitrim), and Sir Frances (of Artaman, ancestor of Sir Robert Gore-Booth). He died in 1629 and was succeeded by his eldest son Ralph. This Sir Ralph Gore, 2nd Baronet, was a Member of Parliament for Donegal. In 1640, he married Anne, daughter of Lord Caufeild of Charlemont), and had one son and successor with her named William. This Sir William Gore, 3rd Baronet, of county Leitrim, was a Member of Parliament for Banagher from 1661 until 1666. He married Hannah, daughter of co-heir of James Hamilton of Manor Hamilton, and had two issue with her as follows: 1) Sir Ralph (4th Baronet), 2) Reverend William (Dean of Down, married Honora Prittie of Dunalley, had issue including William and others). Sir William died around 1703 and was succeeded by his eldest son Ralph. This Sir Ralph Gore, 4th Baronet, was a Member of Parliament for county Donegal, Ireland, and was a Chancellor of the Exchequer and Speaker of the House of Commons in Ireland. He succeeded the estate of the Manor of Hamilton. In 1705, he married his first wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Robert Colville of Newtown Leitrim, having two daughters with her: Hannah (married John Donellan) and Rose (married Anthony Malone). He later married Elizabeth, daughter of Reverend St. George Ashe, Bishop of Clogher, and had three issue with her: Sir St. George (5th Baronet), Sir Ralph (6th Baronet), and Richard (of Sandymount, county Wicklow, married Martha Flott of Guernsey and had issue named Louisa, Sir Ralph the 7th Baronet, Anthony, and Reverend Thomas). Several generations later came Sir Sr. George Ralph Gore, 9th Baronet, the son of George, who was born in 1841. In 1876, he married Eugenia Marion, daughter of Eyles Irwin Caulfeild Browne M.L.C of Queensland Australia, and had four children with her as gollows: Ralph (10th Baronet, discussed below), Irwin St. John (Captain 4th Bn. Glos. Regiment, served in World War I and married Beatrice, widow of Rudolph Moritz), Hilda Grace (married Major Ralph Stuart Grigg), and Leonie Gore (married Walter Owen Bentley, son of Alfred of Regent’s Park). He died in 1887 and was succeeded by his son Ralph. This Sir Ralph St. George Claude Gore, 10th Baronet, was born in May of 1877. He was a Major of the Westminster Dragoons and Lieutenant of The Royals and President of the Yacht Racing Association. In 1905, he married his first wife: Elsie Vaughan, daughter of Henry Tully Grigg of Buenos Aires, and had a son with her named Ralph St. George (Lieutenant Colonel of The Royals for served in World War II, married Phyllis Gabrielle Brooke-Hitching, daughter of M. van der Porten of New Rochelle, and had a daughter with her named Maxine Marjorie). In 1943, he married his second wife, Beatrice Mildred, daughter of Commander Conyngham A. Denison of the Royal Navy. The Gore Coat of Arms is blazoned in heraldry as follows: Gules, a fesse argent, between three cross-crosslets fitchee or. Crest: A heraldic tiger rampant argent, collared gules. Motto: Sola salus servire Deo. They resided at Old Garth, Bembridge, Isle of Wight.
Other Gore Pedigree & Family Crests
William Gore was born in Wiltshire, England around 1330 AD. He had a son named Robert who was born in Wiltshire around 1360 AD. He in turn had a son named William who was born around 1385 AD. He in turn had a son named William Gore who was born in Wiltshire around 1410 AD. He in turn had a son named William who was born in 1435 AD. He had a son named Giles Gore who was born in Wiltshire, England (modern day United Kingdom) in 1460 and had a son with her named John Gore, Esquire of London. John Gore was born around 1485. He had sons named Gerard, Richard, and Thomas. His son Gerard Gore was born in East Ham, Essex, England in 1516 and married Helen Davenant, and had the following issue with her: Thomas, Richard, Gerard, John, Ralph, Robert, Margaret, Paul (1st Baronet), Blanch, Richard, William, and Thomas. His son Sir Paul Gore, Baronet of Manor Gore was born in St. Stephen, Walbrook, London, England in 1567. He married Isabella Wycliffe and had the following issue with her: Arthur, Francis, Henry, Ralph (2nd Baronet), Elizabeth, Paul Jr., Sydney (Wingfield), Sir Ralph, and Angel (Archdale). His son Captain Paul Jr. was born in Donegal, Ireland in 1600. He married Roda Gardner and had a son with her named John. This John Gore was born in Waltham Abbey, Essex, England in 1634 and he went to colonial America where he married Margaret Ascough, having two sons with her named Joseph Sr. and Henry. His son Joseph Sr. was born in Middlesex, Virginia in 1651. He married Phoebe Hughes and had a son with her named Joseph Jr. who was born in Christchurch, Middlesex, Virginia in 1675. He married Mary Allison and later Lucretia Tugwell and had the following children: Margaret, Sarah, Mary (Shelton), John, Elizabeth, Ann, Joshua, William, Joseph II, and Henry. John Gore was born in the same town in 1703 and he married Mary Maderas, having the following issue with her: Reuben, Rachel, Sarah, John II, Joseph, Robert, and Henry Sr. His son Henry Sr. was born in Christ Church, Virginia in 1736 and he married Virginia Loudin and Anne Catherine Keller, having the following issue: John, Ambrose, Joseph, Robert Sr., Peggy, Daniel, James Jefferson, and Henry Jr. His son Robert Gore Sr. was born in New Market, Shenandoah, VA in 1783. He married Louisa Thomasia Jarrell and fathered the following six children with her: Henry, Issac, Mary Polly, George Washington, Greene, and Robert. His son Greene Gore was born in Island Creek, VA in 1816. He married Sarah Walker and later Margaret (surname not known) and had numerous children: Jeremial, Jacob H., William A., Ardelia, Madison Floyd, Martha, Clara Jane, Angeline, James, John Henry, and Minerva Virginia. His son John Henry Gore was born in Mercer, Virginia in 1861. He married Christina Davidson and Mary A. Hale and had one son and one daughter: Bruce Robert and Bessie May. His son Bruce Robert was born in Mercer, West Virginia in 1882. He married Artie Woods and later Lillian Lynch and had issue named Mable and James. His son James H. was born in West Virginia in 1902.
Sir John Gilston Gore, Lord Mayor of London, was born in London, England around 1545. He married Hester Cambell and had issue with her as follows: Gerrard, John Jr., Thomas, Hester, Mabell (Cotton), William, Judith, Elizabeth, Abigail, Clara, Sarah, and James.
Early American and New World Settlers
The book Genealogical Guide to the Early Settlers, mentions one bearer of this name: John Gore of Roxbury, Massachusetts, who brought his wife Rhoda and daughter Mary and son John from England around 1635. He had other issue in America named Abigail (1641), Abigail (1643), Hannah (1645), Obadiah (1649), and others. He was a freeman in 1637 and he died twenty years later in 1657. Other early settlers in colonial America bearing this surname include Thomas Gore (Virginia 1606), Richard Gore (New England 1630), Stephen Gore (Maryland 1633), Henry Gore (Virginia 1714), Casper Gore (Pennsylvania 1755), and Grace Gore (Boston 1766).
In Canada, one of the earliest settlers bearing this last name was Thomas Gore, who came to Nova Scotia in 1749. In Australia, a one John Gore, a convict from Kent, England came to New South Wales (then a penal colony) aboard the Almorah in 1817. Thomas Gore, a convict from Lancaster, England came to New South Wales in 1828 aboard the Albion. In New Zealand, one of the first bearers was R. Gore, who came to the city of Auckland in 1861 aboard the Black Eagle. In 1873, John Gore, age 22, a gardener by trade, came to the city of Wellington aboard the Wild Duck.
Early Americans Bearing the Gore Family Crest
Charles Bolton’s American Armory (1927) contains three entry for this surname: [Or] 3 bulls’ heads 2 and 1 cabossed [sable]. Crest: a bull’s head couped at the neck [sable]. Governor Christopher Gore belonged to the Wiltshire family. Gore Hall, Harvard College. Over the door and on both gate posts. In stone. Crozier’s General Armory (1904) and Matthew’s American Armoury and Bluebook (1907) do not contain an entry for this name.
I have identified two Gore family mottoes: In hoc signo vinces (Under this sign thou shalt conquer) and Sola salus servire Deo (The only safe course is to serve God).
We have 15 coats of arms for the Gore surname depicted here. These `5 blazons are from Bernard Burke’s book The General Armory of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, which was published in 1848. The bottom of this page contains the blazons, and in many instances contains some historical, geographical, and genealogical about where coat of arms was found and who bore it. People with this last name that bore an Gore Coat of Arms (or mistakenly called the Gore Family Crest) include:
1) Jerrard Gore of London, England, granted by Cooke in 1587 AD.
There are hundreds of notable people with the Gore surname. This page will mention a handful. Famous people with this last name include: 1) Albert Arnold Gore Jr. (1948) who was the 45th Vice President of the United States from 1993-2001 and a US Senator from Tennessee from 1985-1993, born in Washington, DC, 2) Albert Arnold Gore Sr. (1907-1998) who was a US Senator from Tennessee from 1953-1971 and was the father of Vice President Al Gore, 3) General Sir Charles Stephen Gore (1793-1869) who fought in the Peninsular War and was a Colonel of the 91st Argyllshire Regiment, son of the 2nd Earl of Arran, 4) Arthur Gore (1703-1773) who was the First Earl of Arran, 3rd Baronet, and Viscount Sudley, 5) Francis Gore (1769-1852) who was an English officer and British colonial administrator who was a Major that served as the Governor of Bermuda and Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada, 6) Spencer William Gore (1850-1906) who was an English Tennis Player who won the first Wimbledon tournament in 1877 and was also a cricket player for Surrey, 7) Thomas Pryor Gore (1870-1949) who was the first US Senator from Oklahoma who was in office from 1907-1921, born in Embry, Mississippi, 8) Spender Frederick Gore (1878-1914) who was an English painter of music halls and landscapes born in Epsom, Surrey, 9) Lesley Gore (1946-2015), born as Lesley Sue Goldstein, was an American singer, songwriter, and actress who was born in Brooklyn, New York, best known for hit songs such as “It’s My Party”, “Judy’s Turn to Cry”, and “She’s a Fool”, and 10) Catherine Grace Francis Gore (1798-1861) who was an English novelist and dramatist who was born in London.