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My Ancestors Are Said to Have Originated From The Walls of Thurland Castle.

The Castle 1899, Thurland Castle
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Around 1706, my Ancestors are said to have originated from the walls of Thurland Castle.

gillentineje@yahoo.com if you would like to contact me.

Written by James Gillentine. To send James Gillentine a private message, click here.

A memory of Thurland Castle in Lancashire shared on Monday, 14th May 2007.

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RE: My Ancestors Are Said to Have Originated From The Walls of Thurland Castle.

Notes for Nicholas GILLINGTON: I also am decendant of the Gillington. I foung this and found it to be very interesting. I posted for those who have not read it. "Michael K. HENDRIX" The Girlington (or Gyrlyngton) family was one of the original families of northern England dating back to the days of the Norman conquest. The name Gyrlyngton is probably derived from the "tun" or "town" of "Gyrla", a Saxon settlement of what is now Yorkshire. It is believed that Waleran de Gyrlyngton was a descendent of one of those Normans who helped William the Conqueror in 1066. No documentation has yet been found to establish this connection, however, and it is also possible that Waleran was descended from a Saxon supporter of William who was given the land of Gyrla as 'payment' for his aid. This question may never be answered since most documents from this period have long-since disappeared. The connection of our Nicholas Gillington with this family is equally speculative. His will and attached papers describing Thurland Castle offer at least the suggestion that he was born there, although no proof of this has been found. It seems likely that if he was not the son of John Girlington, last Lord of Girlington, then he was probably the son of one of the castle inhabitants in 1676. Nicholas Gillington (or Girlington) was possibly the son of John Girlington (oldest surviving son of Sir John Girlington of Thurland Castle) and his second wife Margaret Ducket, daughter of James Ducket of Westmoreland Co., England. In loose courthouse papers in Halifax Co., VA, Nicholas drew a picture of the wing of Thurland Castle (near the village of Tunstall, Lancashire) where (it has been assumed) he was born. At the time he signed this paper (an attachment to his second will) in 1773, Nicholas Stated that he was 97 years old. The original Thurland Castle was built in the 14th century and parts of it still stand today. This property has recently been transformed into up-scale townhouses, but portions of the original castle remain intact. The castle was owned from 1605 to 1698 by members of the Girlington family, descendents of the ancient Gyrlyngton family of Yorkshire dating from the time of William the Conqueror. John Girlington was the first of his family to actually occupy the castle. He died in 1612 and was succeeded by his son Major General Sir John Girlington, who died in 1645 of wounds he received in the defense of Pontefract Castle. Sir john was succeeded by his son John (christened on 9 July 1637 at Tunstall) while still a minor. In 1663, as High Sheriff of Lancastershire, John Girlington regained possession of Thurland Castle (which had fallen into disrepair) and was able to return the castle to a livable condition. The castle was sold in 1698 to John Bonett, a lawyer of some importance in London. John Girlington moved to Hornby following disposal of the castle and he died there in 1706. If Nicholas Gillington (who probably adopted the more common colonial spelling of the name) was the son of John Girlington and Margaret Ducket, then he was also the grandson of John Girlington and Katherine Girlington, a daughter of a cousin William Girlington. Nicholas Gillington and Mary Eleanor Echols were married about 1714 and either in England (prior to emigration) or shortly after arrival in Virginia. Nicholas came to America sometime before 16 June 1714, when he purchased 200 acres of new land in King William Co., VA for 20 shillings, the land being located "about a mile back in the woods from Powell's Ford".

Comment from Joy Hayes Hartlage on Friday, 31st December 2010.

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