Gainsby History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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Early Origins of the Gainsby family
The surname Gainsby was first found in Lincolnshire at Gainsborough, town in the West Lindsey district that dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 where it was listed as Gainesburg and literally meant "stronghold of a man called Gegn" having derived from the Old English personal name + "burh."  Conjecturally, the family is descended from Rainald, tenant of the lordship of Gainsborough listed in the Domesday Book.  Gainsborough was one of the capital cities of Mercia during the Anglo-Saxon period, and another reference claims the town's origin is from Gaini (Ganni) an ancient Anglo-Saxon tribe.
The famed English portrait and landscape artist Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788) born in Sudbury, Suffolk, the youngest son of John Gainsborough, a weaver and maker of woolen goods. His birthplace, Gainsborough's House is now a museum and gallery.
Early History of the Gainsby family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gainsby research. Another 81 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1166, 1177, 1714, 1307, 1302 and 1307 are included under the topic Early Gainsby History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Gainsby Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Gainsborough, Gainsborrow, Gainsbrow, Gainsbro, Gainsbrough, Gaynsborough, Gaynsbro, Gainsbrow, Gainsboro, Gaynsborrow, Gainsbury, Gainsbry, GainsBerry, Gainsbrook and many more.
Early Notables of the Gainsby family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was William Gainsborough (died 1307), English prelate, Bishop of Worcester (1302-1307.) "He was a Franciscan, who is first known as the divinity lecturer of the Franciscans at Oxford. His position seems to have suggested to Edward I that he should be employed as an ambassador to Philip IV of France, with whom the English king wished to be at peace...
Another 67 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gainsby Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Gainsby family
For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Gainsby or a variant listed above were: James Gainsbrooke settled in Virginia in 1658.
- Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)