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

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

The Anglo-Saxon name Garver comes from when its first bearer worked as a wood-carver or sculptor. The former occupation was more common than the latter. Chaucer describes a wood-carver in the late 13th century "Knight's Tale", writing, "Ne purteyour, ne kerver of images." The surname Garver is derived from the Old English word ceorfan, which means to cut or to carve. However, the surname Garver may also be derived from the occupation of a ploughman. In this case, the surname Garver is derived from the Old French words charuier and caruier, which both mean ploughman.

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Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Garver include Carver, Carvere, Carvar, Carever, Carber and others.

First found in Norfolk where they held a family seat from very ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Garver research. Another 273 words(20 lines of text) covering the years 1203, 1275, 1290, 1505, 1576, 1621, 1710, and 1780 are included under the topic Early Garver History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 61 words(4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Garver Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled 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 ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Garver or a variant listed above:

Garver Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • James Garver, who arrived in America in 1836
  • Mary Garver, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • John Garver, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1864
  • Adeline Garver, aged 17, who emigrated to the United States, in 1895

Garver Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • James Garver, aged 27, who emigrated to the United States from Glasgow, in 1906
  • Chauncey B. Garver, who landed in America, in 1907
  • Lewis Kaye Garver, aged 44, who landed in America from Korkburton, England, in 1911
  • Frank Garver, aged 24, who emigrated to America, in 1917
  • Anthony Garver, aged 44, who settled in America, in 1919


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  • Lori Beth Garver (b. 1961), American Deputy NASA Administrator
  • Ned Garver (b. 1925), American League pitcher (1948 to 1961)
  • John F. Garver (1878-1949), American leader in the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
  • Kathleen Marie "Kathy" Garver (b. 1945), American television, stage, screen, and voice actress


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  1. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  2. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  3. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  4. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. 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. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  7. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  8. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  9. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  10. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  11. ...

The Garver Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Garver 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 19 December 2012 at 00:23.

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