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

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

The name Gwyse was brought to England by the Normans when they conquered the country in 1066. The ancestors of the Gwyse family lived in Gloucestershire. The name, however, refers to the district of Guise in France, where the family was resident prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. Aspley Guise is a village and civil parish located in central Bedfordshire.

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It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Gwyse are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Gwyse include Gyse, Guise, Guys, Guy, Gysse, Gyss, Gise, Gwyse and many more.

First found in Gloucestershire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Elmore in that shire, and were descended from Sir William Gyse who attended Duke William in his Conquest of England at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D. It is believed that Sir William first held the manor of Highnam from Gloucester Abbey but by the later marriage of Anselm Gyse to Magotta de Burgh (Burke,) daughter of the Earl of Kent, he acquired the Lordship of both Highnam and Elmore in Gloucestershire.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gwyse research. Another 253 words(18 lines of text) covering the years 1450, 1632, 1705, 1731, 1629, 1621, 1624, 1644, 1724, 1653, 1683, 1617, 1670, 1654, 1695, 1678, 1732, 1701, 1769 and are included under the topic Early Gwyse History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 171 words(12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gwyse Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Gwyse family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 107 words(8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Gwyse, or a variant listed above: Nicholas, Jane and daughter Mary Guy who settled in New England in 1638; Robert Guy settled in Virginia in 1619; a year before the "Mayflower"; Alice Guy settled in Barbados in 1635.

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  1. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  2. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  3. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  4. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  5. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  6. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  8. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  9. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  10. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  11. ...

The Gwyse Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Gwyse 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 17 September 2013 at 11:53.

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