Show ContentsGaillard History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Gaillard family's name is derived from the ancient Norman culture that was established in Britain following the Norman Conquest of island in 1066. Their name originated with an early member who was a happy, joyous, and bold person. The name Gaillard derives from the nickname the galliard, which means the bold or the joyous. [1]

We note Chaucer's reference to the name in The Cook's Tale: 'Gaillard he was, as goldfinch in the shawe.'

Some presume the family originated in Normandy, France as the Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae listed Roger Golier of Normandy in 1198. [2]

Early Origins of the Gaillard family

The surname Gaillard was first found in the London area where the first record of the name was in the Latin form: Gaylardus in 1206. Later, Robert Gaylard was listed in 1225, and later again, John Galard was listed in 1232. [3]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed: John Gayllard, Cambridgeshire; William Gallard and John Galard in Oxfordshire. [4]

As a forename, we found Gaillarda Blome in the Close Roll, 5 Edward II and Gaylarde uxor Arnaldt de Puribus, Close Roll, 39 Henry III. The reader should note that ancient rolls always listed entries by the year of the king's reign. By example, 39, Henry III denotes during the thirty-ninth year of King Henry III's reign. [4]

Further to the north ion Scotland, "Reginaldus de Galard' witnessed a charter by Adam de Hastengis of the land of Kengildurs to the Abbey of Aberbrothoc, c. 1214-1226. John Galart or Gallard held the land of Keth Sywin or Swinis Keeth, Fife, in 1248, and Reginaldus de Gaillard is mentioned in connection with the land about the same date." [5]

Early History of the Gaillard family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gaillard research. Another 130 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1426, 1341, 1667, 1675, 1676, 1351, 1687, 1749 and 1687 are included under the topic Early Gaillard History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gaillard Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of forenames and surnames were common. Originally all records were in Latin and translating a record, whether it was a surname or village name was dependent on a verbal translation into the language of the times. Languages evolved too and that complicated entries. Spellings often changed in a person’s lifetime in various rolls (censuses) of the time. Many variations of the name Gaillard have been found, including Gaylord, Gaillard, Galliard, Gaylor, Gayleard and others.

Early Notables of the Gaillard family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Richard Gaillard and Hughes Gaillard, British Squires who bravely fought at the Combat of the Thirty on March 26th, 1351. John Ernest Galliard (1687?-1749), was a...
Another 33 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gaillard Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gaillard Ranking

In the United States, the name Gaillard is the 12,424th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [6] However, in France, the name Gaillard is ranked the 95th most popular surname with an estimated 29,883 people with that name. [7]

United States Gaillard migration to the United States +

For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Gaillard were among those contributors:

Gaillard Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Anto Gaillard, aged 38, who landed in Bermuda in 1635 [8]
  • John Gaillard, who arrived in Maryland in 1661 [8]
  • Elizabeth Gaillard, who arrived in South Carolina in 1695-1696
Gaillard Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Jean Gaillard, who landed in Virginia in 1700 [8]
  • Jean Gaillard, who landed in Jamestown, Va in 1700 [8]
  • Bernard Gaillard, who arrived in New Orleans in 1746
Gaillard Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • I M Gaillard, aged 30, who landed in New Orleans, La in 1829 [8]
  • Fidele Gaillard, who arrived in St Clair County, III in 1888 [8]

Canada Gaillard migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Gaillard Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century
  • Marguerite Gaillard, who arrived in Canada in 1632
  • Mr. François Gaillard, French settler travelling to Canada for work arriving on 9th April 1643 [9]
  • Christophe Gaillard, who was on record in Montreal in 1653
  • Jean Gaillard, who settled in Montreal in 1661
  • Marguerite Gaillard, an orphan sent to Quebec in 1664
Gaillard Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Leonard Gaillard, his wife Marguerite Mansou and their eight children, who all came from Lyon to New France between the years 1632 and 1760

Contemporary Notables of the name Gaillard (post 1700) +

  • John Gaillard (1765-1826), American politician
  • John Gaillard (1765-1826), American Democratic Party politician, Member of South Carolina State House of Representatives, 1794-96; Member of South Carolina State Senate, 1796-1804; U.S. Senator from South Carolina, 1804-26 [10]
  • Franklin Gaillard, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from South Carolina, 1860 [10]
  • Yann Gaillard (1936-2022), French politician who was a member of the Senate of France (1994-2014)
  • Marie-Rose Gaillard (1944-2022), Belgian racing cyclist who won the Belgian national road race title in 1966
  • Felix Gaillard (1919-1970), French politician, prime minister of France in 1957-1958
  • Claude Ferdinand Gaillard (1834-1887), French engraver and painter
  • Gabriel Henri Gaillard (1726-1806), French historian
  • Theodore Gaillard Hunt (1805-1893), American politician, Member of Louisiana State House of Representatives, 1837; U.S. Representative from Louisiana 2nd District, 1853-55; State Court Judge in Louisiana, 1859 [11]

  1. Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. 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)
  3. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  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. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  6. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  8. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  9. Debien, Gabriel. Liste Des Engagés Pour Le Canada Au XVIIe Siècle. Vol. 6, Laval University, 1952. (Retreived 24th May 2018). Retrieved from
  10. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 12) . Retrieved from
  11. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 10) . Retrieved from on Facebook