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

Origins Available: English, Irish

Where did the English Garrett family come from? What is the English 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."


Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Garrett, Garratt, Garret, Garrat, Garet, Garitt, Garatt and many more.

First found in Lincolnshire, where a Geraddus filius Simonis is on record in 1242 in the Liber Feodorum. A John Gerad was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Somerset in 1230.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Garrett research. Another 179 words(13 lines of text) covering the years 1379, 1086, 1511, 1551 and are included under the topic Early Garrett History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Garrett Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Garrett family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 105 words(8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Garrett or a variant listed above:

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
  • Joseph Hugh Garrett (1880-1978), English colonial administrator, Governor of Sind, India (1938)
  • Stephen Denis Garrett (1906-1989), English Professor of Mycology



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

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  1. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  2. 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.
  3. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  4. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  6. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  7. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  8. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. 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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