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

Origins Available: Dutch, English, German, Welsh

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

Like many surnames, the name Gunther comes from a personal name, in this case, from Gunter or Gunther. Such names may be patronymic, signifying that the person's father was named Gunther, or they may simply have been chosen arbitrarily at the time when people were taking surnames. Gunther is a French and German name, coming from the Old French "gontier" or the Old German "gunter," both of which mean "battle-army." The name came to England during the Norman invasion in 1066, and it was probably around that time when people first began to use Gunther as a surname. Two men bearing the first names Gunter and Gonther were recorded in the Domesday Book at that time.

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Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Gonther, Gunter, Gunther, Guenthner, Guntard and others.

First found in Northumberland, where the name first appeared in the late 11th century. Like many surnames, the name Gunther comes from a personal name, Gunter or Gunther. Such names may be patronymic, signifying that the person's father was named Gunther, or they may simply have been chosen arbitrarily at the time when people were taking surnames. Gunther is a French and German name, coming from the Old French "gontier" or the Old German "gunter," both of which mean "battle-army." The name came to England during the Norman invasion in 1066 and it was probably around that time when the first people took it as a surname; two men bearing the first names Gunter and Gonther were recorded in the Domesday Book at that time.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gunther research. Another 194 words(14 lines of text) covering the years 1094, 1100, 1205, 1221, 1581, and 1626 are included under the topic Early Gunther History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 58 words(4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gunther Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Gunther or a variant listed above:

Gunther Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Richard Gunther, who arrived in Virginia in 1650

Gunther Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Peter Gunther, who came to Philadelphia in 1738
  • Kilian Gunther, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1750
  • Christian Gunther, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1751
  • Johan Caspar Gunther, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1752
  • Heinrich Gunther, who landed in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1753


Gunther Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Henrich Gunther, aged 28, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1804
  • Joh Joachim Gunther, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1804
  • Anna Cath Gunther, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1804
  • Anna Juliana Hinrietta Gunther, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1804
  • Barbara Gunther, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1806


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  • John Gunther (1901-1970), American author
  • Jyllian Gunther, American film director
  • Lee Gunther (1938-1998), American film editor
  • Robert Theodore Gunther (1869-1940), American science historian, founder of the Museum of the History of Science, Oxford
  • George "Doc" Gunther (b. 1919), American politician, longest-serving state legislator in Connecticut's history
  • Neil J. Gunther (b. 1950), Australian-born, American scientist


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  1. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  2. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  3. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  4. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  5. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  7. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  8. 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.
  9. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  10. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  11. ...

The Gunther Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Gunther 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 16 March 2014 at 16:07.

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