Galer History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Galer comes from the ancient Norman culture that was established in Britain after the Conquest of 1066. It was a name for a happy, joyous, and bold person. The name Galer 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 Galer family

The surname Galer 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 Galer family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Galer 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 Galer History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Galer Spelling Variations

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 Gaylord, Gaillard, Galliard, Gaylor, Gayleard and others.

Early Notables of the Galer 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 Galer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Galer migration to the United States +

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, travelling 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 Galer or a variant listed above:

Galer Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Ralph Galer, who arrived in Colorado in 1886 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Galer (post 1700) +

  • Major Robert Edward Galer, American officer awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor
  • Robert E. Galer, American fighter pilot and flying ace in the U.S. Marine Corps, during World War II, credited with 13 aerial victories


  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. ^ 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)


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