The Gilliland name or MacGill'fhaolain in our gaelic language comes from Scotland and Ireland our true home. The variations of the name Gilliland as follows: MacGill'fhaolain , Mcgill'olane , Macgillelane , Gilliand , Gilleland , Gilland , Gillelan , Gilland , Gillyelan, Gillilan, Gilfilane, Gilfilan, Gilfelain, Gilfilland, There are many diferent spellings, but they all lead back to one spelling Gill'fhaolain, ancient spelling is (Gylfhalan).
MacGill'fhaolain means " son of servant " the MacGill'fhaolain clan were followers of a Saint Fillan ( Fhaolain ) . The word Gill in archaic form means royalty ( Of the land ). Note the word "Gill" not Gille two different meanings. The Gilliland or MacGill'fhaolain clan lived in the middle of Scotland. Over the years different lines of the family change the spelling of there name to make pronunciation simple. Also some families could not spell so it made signing there name less stressful. The Gilliland's have survived many wars and many cultures trying to take or change there ways and customs.
St. Fillan (Fhaolain, Foelan) was the son of St. Kentigerna and Feriach. was also known as Foelan.
He became an abbot near St. Andrews in 8th Century Scotland. He retired and built a church at Glendochart in Perthshire. "Source (The Saints, John Coulson, Hawthorne Books, NY) He died on 19 January, 703 A.D. His feast day is January 19.
Gille is an ancient Gaelic prefix meaning steward, disciple, follower, or son of . the surnames Gilliland, Gilfillian, Gilleland, McClelland, MacLelland, Leland, Whelan and Phelan all mean disciple of St. Fillan (which means "little wolf.") The root word is Mac-Giolla-Fhaolain (Gaelic). The Gillilands and the MacLellands, along with the MacRaes, were the arms bearers (warriors) for the McKenzie Clan in Rosshire for eight centuries. (American Surnames, Elsdon Smith, Chilton Co, 1969) This information was email to me and the address could not be return , The Gilliland site thanks you for you contributions.
There was a Sept. of the Ui Fiachrach seated in Co. Sligo called Mac Giolla Fhaol�in - son of the follower of Saint Fillan. The name was first anglicized MacGillilan and MacGilliland which is a phonetic approximation to the Irish form.
From the author, there are different spellings for names and places because of the lack of good records or how the word sounds is how people would spell it. You will find in any research that gaelic names are spelled two or three different ways. Do not be discouraged in your research. You will always have to cross reference your work.