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

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

The ancestry of the name Gorham dates from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It comes from when the family lived at Gorhambury located in the county of Hertfordshire.


Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Gorham have been found, including Goreham, Gorham and others.

First found in Hertfordshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D. One of the first noteworthy people of the name Gorham was Geoffrey de Gorham, sometimes called Geoffrey of Dunstable or (of Le Mans) who died at St. Alban's, 26 February 1146. He was a Norman scholar who became Abbot of St Albans Abbey from 1119 to 1146. He was from the province of Maine, in the Dukedom of Normandy and was invited by Richard d'Aubeney, Abbot of St. Alban's, to become master of the Abbey school.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gorham research. Another 282 words(20 lines of text) covering the year 1776 is included under the topic Early Gorham History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 31 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gorham Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Gorham family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 106 words(8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Gorham, or a variant listed above:

Gorham Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • John Gorham settled in Boston in 1630
  • Ralph Gorham settled in New England in 1630
  • Thomas Gorham settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Thomas Gorham, aged 19, arrived in Virginia in 1635
  • John Gorham who settled in Virginia in 1635

Gorham Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Prince Gorham, aged 45, landed in Maine in 1812
  • Allen Gorham, who arrived in New Orleans, La in 1813
  • Solomon Gorham, who landed in New Orleans, La in 1813
  • S P Gorham, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • Arthur Gorham, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850


  • Benjamin Gorham (1775-1845), American politician
  • Christopher Gorham (b. 1974), American actor
  • George Congdon Gorham (1832-1909), American politician and newspaper editor
  • John Milton Gorham (1867-1943), cofounder of American college fraternity Delta Chi
  • Mel Gorham (b. 1959), American actress
  • Sarah Gorham, American poet
  • Scott Gorham (b. 1951), American guitarist and songwriter
  • Nathaniel Gorham (1738-1796), American 14th President of the United States in Congress assembled, under the Articles of Confederation
  • Claire Gorham, English journalist and television presenter
  • George Cornelius Gorham (1787-1857), English cleric



  • John Howland of the Mayflower by Elizabeth Pearson White.

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  1. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  2. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  3. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  4. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  5. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  6. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  7. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  8. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  9. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  10. 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.
  11. ...

The Gorham Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Gorham 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 26 March 2014 at 21:09.

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