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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, French

Gage is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Gage family lived person who worked as the local assayer, who would determine weights and measures. The surname has another occupational origin which suggests that the bearer worked as a money lender, which was taken from the Old French word gage, which literally means a pledge.


The surname Gage was first found in Gaugy, Normandy where Ralph de Gaugy was listed there in 1180. Various versions of the name were listed including Gauchi, Gaugi, and Gaacy in L'Aigle, Normandy about the same time. The first record on the name in England was Warin de Gaacy (Wacy) in Bedfordshire in 1140. A few years later, Ralph de Gauchi (Gaugi) held a fief in Northumberland by marriage in 1165 and in the same year, Robert de Gaugi was Baron of Slesmouth, again in Northumberland. The latter's brother, Roger de Gauchi was granted the ownership of Argentan Castle and Forest by King John in 1203. [1] The parish of Alciston in Sussex was another ancient family seat. "This manor was given, with others, to Battle Abbey by the Conqueror, whose grant was confirmed by Henry I.: on the surrender of the abbey, in 1539, the king became seised of the lordship, and gave it to Sir John Gage and Philippa his wife, to hold in capite by knight's service. Alciston Place was occupied by an ancestor of the present Lord Gage in 1585." [2]

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 Gage, Gauge and others.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gage research. Another 267 words (19 lines of text) covering the years 1269, 1633, 1754, 1479, 1556, 1596, 1656, 1621, 1682, 1654, 1660, 1642, 1699, 1691, 1700, 1695, 1744, 1722, 1702, 1754 and 1934 are included under the topic Early Gage History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 247 words (18 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gage Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Gage family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 121 words (9 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 Gage or a variant listed above:

Gage Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • John Gage, who arrived with Winthrop's Fleet in 1630 and settled in Boston
  • John Gage, who landed in Ipswich, Massachusetts in 1634
  • Wm Gage, who arrived in Virginia in 1638
  • Elizabeth Gage, who settled in Virginia in 1652
  • Elizabeth Gage, who landed in Virginia in 1652

Gage Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • John Gage, who settled in Maryland in 1747

Gage Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • B Gage, aged 33, arrived in New Orleans, La in 1830
  • James Gage, aged 21, landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1833
  • A Gage, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • T B Gage, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • William Gage, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851

Gage Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Nathan Gage, who arrived in Canada in 1839

Gage Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • John Gage, aged 50, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Hooghly"
  • John Gage, aged 15, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Hooghly"

Gage Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • George Gage landed in Bay of Islands, New Zealand in 1840
  • J Gage landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840


  • Leighton David Gage (1942-2013), American author of crime fiction best known for the Chief Inspector Mario Silva Investigations series of novels
  • Brigadier-General Philip Stearns Gage (1885-1982), American Commanding General Harbor Defenses of Boston (1944-1947)
  • Ben Gage (1914-1978), American television actor
  • Nicholas Gage (b. 1938), Greek-American writer
  • Jack R. Gage (1899-1970), American governor of Wyoming
  • Henry Tifft Gage (1852-1924), American politician, Governor of California from 1899-1903
  • Lyman Judson Gage (1836-1927), American banker and cabinet member
  • Matilda Joslyn Gage (1826-1898), American women's suffrage activist and author
  • Nicolas Gage (b. 1934), 8th Viscount Gage
  • George John St Clere Gage (1932-1993), 7th Viscount Gage



  • Gage Families in the 1850 U.S. Census: Including a Gage Family Statistical Portrait and a Bibliography of Gage Genealogy by Douglas W. Gage.
  • John Gage of Ipswich: His English Ancestry and Some American Descendants by Duane Marshall Gage.

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Courage sans peur
Motto Translation: Courage without fear.


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  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  2. 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.
  3. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  4. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  5. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  6. 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.
  7. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  8. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  9. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  10. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  11. ...

The Gage Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Gage 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 8 March 2016 at 14:50.

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