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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: English, Irish

Where did the Irish Garrett family come from? What is the Irish Garrett family crest and coat of arms? When did the Garrett family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Garrett family history?

Although the Garrett surname came to Britain with the Normans, it derives from the Germanic personal names Gerard, or Gerald, composed of the elements "gar," or "ger," meaning "spear," "hard," meaning "brave," or "strong," and "wald," meaning "rule." The Anglo-Norman surname Garrett in Ireland was often Mac Gerailt, and was used as a synonym of Fitzgerald.


In the days before Gaelic or English gained any significant semblance of standardization, the scribes who created documents simply recorded names as they sounded. Consequently, in the Middle Ages many people were recorded under different spellings each time their name was written down. Research on the Garrett family name revealed numerous spelling variations, including Garrett, Garratt, MacGarrett, McGarraty, Garret, Garrat, Garet, Garitt, Garatt and many more.

First found in County Carlow (Irish: Cheatharlach) a small landlocked area located in the province of Leinster in the South East of Ireland, where some of the name may have come from Anglicized versions of MacOrcachta, believed to be descended from Cathal, brother of Teige Mor, of the powerful O'Connors of Connacht. However, it is thought that the majority of this name in Ireland are of English (Norman) stock.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Garrett research. Another 143 words(10 lines of text) covering the year 1598 is included under the topic Early Garrett History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 20 words(1 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Garrett Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Many Irish families left the English-controlled Ireland in the 19th century. Early immigrants were primarily after land and the opportunity of living a life entirely of their own fashioning. In the 1840s, this pattern of immigration changed as the Great Potato Famine struck Ireland. Hundreds of thousands left the diseased and starving island with little expectations but many hopes. By this time there was very little available land in the east, so many immigrants joined the movement for the western frontier lands, or settled in established urban centers. Irish immigrants not only made enormous contributions to the rapid development and population of North America, but they also brought with them a rich cultural heritage. Immigration and passenger ship lists show some important early immigrants bearing the name Garrett:

Garrett Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Richard Garrett, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1630
  • Tho Garrett, aged 20, arrived in St Christopher in 1635
  • Elia Garrett, who landed in Virginia in 1636
  • Adrey Garrett, who landed in Virginia in 1637
  • Rowland Garrett, who arrived in Virginia in 1637

Garrett Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Catherine Garrett, who arrived in Virginia in 1701
  • Susannah Garrett, who landed in Virginia in 1714
  • Amey Garrett, who arrived in Virginia in 1720
  • Amos Garrett, who landed in Annapolis, Maryland in 1739
  • Mathias Garrett, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1765

Garrett Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Henry Garrett, who came to New York, NY in 1803
  • Hen Garrett, aged 33, arrived in New York, NY in 1803
  • S Ann Garrett, aged 27, landed in New York, NY in 1803
  • Hugh Garrett, who landed in New York, NY in 1815
  • Fredk Garrett, aged 19, arrived in America in 1821


  • John Work Garrett (1820-1884), American banker, philanthropist and president of the Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) Railroad
  • Patrick "Pat" Floyd Garrett (1850-1908), American "Old West" lawman, and customs agent, best known as the sheriff who tracked down and shot the escaped outlaw Billy the Kid
  • Scott Garrett (b. 1959), American politician, member of the United States House of Representatives
  • Thomas Garrett (1789-1871), American Quaker merchant, credited with helping more than 2,700 slaves escape to freedom
  • George Palmer Garrett Jr. (b. 1929), American poet, novelist, short story writer and Professor of English
  • Mario Garrett (b. 1959), American professor, and Chairman of the Department of Gerontology, at San Diego State University
  • Brigadier-General Robert C. Garrett (1886-1981), American Commanding General Hawaiian Seacoast Artillery Command (1941-1945)
  • Robert Garrett (1875-1961), American two time gold and two time silver Olympic medalist for athletics in the 1896 games and two time bronze medalist for 1900 games
  • Peter Garrett (b. 1953), Australian musician and politician
  • Sir Raymond William Garrett (1900-1994), Australian photographer, pilot, and politician



  • A Book of Garretts, 1600-1960 by Hester Elizabeth Garrett.
  • Garrett, Catlett, Ware, and Related Families by Sunie Garrett Talbert Elliott Fisher.

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Semper fidelis
Motto Translation: Always faithful.


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  1. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
  2. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  3. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  4. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  6. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  7. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  8. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  9. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  10. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  11. ...

The Garrett Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Garrett Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 5 August 2014 at 00:04.

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