GEMMELL: This surname derives from an old common personal name ‘Gamall’, meaning “the old one”. In Scotland it was not an uncommon name in the Southern counties especially in Ayrshire and the first record is of a witness to a charter, 1173.
Walter, son of Gamel was one of an assize of marches in Fife in 1230, William, son of Gamell de Tuinham, gifted the church of Tuenham to monks of Holyrood in the same year. Andrew Gemmello was a Burgess of Dundee in 1640 and another of that name was a skipper in Dundee in 1612. An American branch of this name have stated that they have worn the Campbell tartan for seven generations after a decree by an early Duke of Argyll.
The present chief of Clan Campbell, Duke of Argyll refuses to allow this claim. There is also a family tartan on record which is not to be divulged without the prior consent of the weavers, Strathmore Woollen Company of Forfar. As this is not a clan there is no chief, crest, motto or plant badge. There are however several established ‘Universal’ tartans worthy of consideration:
JACOBITE, first recorded in 1712 when it was worn as a secret symbol of sympathy for the “King o’er the water”, James Stuart.
CALEDONIA, a popular pattern worn after the 1782 Repeal of the Act which forbade wearing of Highland dress or tartan. HUNTING
STEWART, first became known by this name in the 1880’s. Before then it was for many years a general hunting sett in Scotland.
BLACK WATCH or GOVERNMENT tartan in its exact regimental form, or one of the modified forms