The Irish and Scottish surname Gillespie is an anglicized form of the Gaelic names Mac Gille Easbuig (Scottish), and Mac Giolla Easpaig (Irish), meaning “servant of the bishop.” In Ireland the surname is chiefly recorded in County Down, and county Mayo. These Gillespies who came from Scotland, were erenaghs or hereditary landlords, who managed the local church lands. In Scotland Ewan Gillaspeck witnessed a charter by Alwin, earl of Levenax, in circa 1199, whilst Guileaspos Cambell, who in 1360 invaded the county of Northumberland in England, is the forerunner of the later Gillespies of that county. Sir Robert Rollo Gillespie (1766 - 1814), born in County Down, had an adventurous and distinguished career as a soldier in India, where he was killed in action.
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