Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Gorman Name
Origins of Name:
The Gorman surname was derived from both English and Irish culture, in the form of Gormund and Mac Gorman, or MacGorman, respectively. The Gorman surname derives from the combination of two words. The Old English, pre 7th century word “gar” which is a spear, and “mund” which means protection. The Old English surname was literally “Gormund”, derived from “Garmund,” which literally translates to spear protector. However, the Irish also had a claim in this name derivative. “Mac Gorman” which means “son of Gorman.” O’Gorman is also a variation of this name post 19th century when prefixes came back into use in Ireland. Gorman is near the word “Gormain” which was often used to describe a blue, or a person who lived near a “gore.”
More common variations are:
Goreman, Gourman, Gorrman, Goroman, Goorman, Ghorman, Gormann, Goraman, Goerman, Gorhman, Goriman, Gormane, Goormann
The earliest recording of this name was William Gorman, who in 1296, was registered in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex. In 1572, Gilmyn Gorman was christened at St. Giles, Cripplegate, but the original spelling of the name Gormund, is dated in 1273. This spelling was found in The Hundred Rolls of Wiltshire under the reign of King Edward I, in “The Hammer of the Scots” in 1273 and 1307, and is believed to be the first recording of the Gorman name anywhere in the world. The English form of this name, Gormund, from the Old English Garmund, broken down to “gar” which means spear and “mund” protection. The literal Old English meaning of this name was spear protector, or protector with spears. This name can also topographically name someone who lived near a gore, or a triangular piece of land. The idea of the Gorman surname was surmised when the English Poll Tax was created. Governments introduced personal taxation in England, requiring surnames.
The Irish version of this surname Mac Gorman was originally found in County Clare and County Tipperary, but later changed to O’Gorman incorrectly. This Gaelic clan originally emerged in County Waterford and the Mac Gormans were notable in the fact that they were named a King of Leinster, King of Ui Bairrche, Standard Bearer of Thomond, Lord of Ui Bhreacain, and Lord of Tullycreen. The original founder of this Mac Gorman clan was Gormain mac Eochaidh. The word “Gorman” comes from gorm, which means a dark blue, or noble. In present day, the Gorman name is not prefixed with Mc or Mac, due to the subjection of the Irish people. The most common found name today is O’Gorman. Due to the Great Potato Famine, many of these Irish settlers migrated to the United States, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. Early recordings of the Gorman name in Ireland begin in 1860, in County Monaghan at University Church, St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin. This recording of the Gorman name included the marriage of John Gorman and Elizabeth Martin Gorman and was bestowed upon their children, Lorcan, Nial, John Paul, and Elizabeth Mary Gorman. In Ireland, the Gorman family name exists in the “Line of Heremon” which stems from a legend of three sons Heremon, Heber, and Ir. These three sons are thought to have founded the three principal domestic divisions of which every family came from in Ireland. The Gorman family is thought to have been branched from the O’Connor Faley family, who are descendants on the primary Line of Heremon starting with the 68th Monarch of Ireland.
United States 38,841
South Africa 1,005
New Zealand 409
Leon A. Gorman (1934-2015) American business man, President and Chairman of L.L. Bean
James Gorman (born in 1859) American Olympic Medalist (gold and bronze) for shooting
Cliff Gorman (1936-2002) American actor
Sir John Reginald Gorman (born in 1923) Poltician in Northern Ireland
Arthur Pue Gorman (1839-1906) American Senator and politician
William Moore “Terence” Gorman (1923-2003) Irish academic and economist
Teresa Ellen Gorman (1931-2015) British Member of Parliament for Billericay (1987-2001) and politician
Mr. Roy J Gorman British Seaman, survived the sinking of the HMS Prince of Wales after it sailed into battle
Mr. Alex Gorman (died in 1917, on December 6) Nova Scotian resident of Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion
Master Edmund Alexander Gorman (1914-1917) three year old Nova Scotian resident of Canada who survived the Halifax Explosion on December 6, 1917, but later died due to complications from injuries sustained in the explosion.
Gorman Coat of Arms Meaning
The two main devices (symbols) in the Gorman blazon are the eagle and lion passant. The three main tinctures (colors) are ermine, or and azure .
Ermine is a very ancient pattern, and distinctive to observe. It was borne alone by John de Monfort, the Earl of Richmond and Duke of Brittany in the late 14th century It has a long association with royalty and the nobility in general and hence represents “Dignity” wherever it is found . The ermine pattern is white with, typically, a three dots and a dart grouping representing the tail of the furred creature.. The ermine spot is sometimes found alone as a special charge on the shield.
Or is the heraldic metal Gold, often shown as a bold, bright yellow colour. It is said to show “Generosity and elevation of the mind” . Later heralds, of a more poetic nature liked to refer to it as Topaz, after the gemstone, and, for obvious reasons associated it with the Sun . In drawings without colour it is usually represented by many small dots, or by the letter ‘O’ .
Azure is the heraldic colour blue, usually quite a deep, dark shade of the colour (there is a lighter blue that sometimes occurs, known as celestial azure). If colour printing is not available then it can be represented by closely spaced horizontal lines in a scheme known as “hatching” . The word is thought to originate from the Arabic lazura and it represents the colour of the eastern sky. It is also said to be the colour associated by the Catholic Church with the Virgin Mary and hence of particular significance .
Where the lion is undisputed king of the animals, the eagle undoubtedly plays the same role in the realm of the birds, its use in this form dating back to at least the Roman period . They tend to be illustrated in quite some detail, especially in continental European arms, and have almost as wide variety of postures and accessories as the lion, well illustrated in the reference as well as being just the eagle’s head or eagle’s leg. The symbology of the eagle is deep and complex, Wade devotes several pages to the subject , but suffice it say that it has long been associated with Empire and those held in high honour – any armiger would be pleased to have any form of Eagle upon their arms!
There can be no animal more clearly associated with Heraldry than the lion, majestic King of the Beasts. Originally it appeared only in one pose, erect, on one paw, with the others raised but such was the popularity of this figure, and the need to distinguish arms from each other, that it soon came to be shown in an enormous range of forms . The lion passant is an example of these modified form, showing the creature on all fours, as if walking proudly. In common with all reprensentations of the lion it can be taken to be an “emblem of deathless courage”.