Show ContentsGardnor History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Gardnor is a name that was formed by the Anglo-Saxon society of old Britain. The name was thought to have been used for someone who once worked as a gardener. The surname Gardnor originally derived from the Old French word gardinier. [1]

It was later adopted in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. Occupational names that were derived from the common trades of the medieval era transcended European cultural and linguistic boundaries. Occupational names have remained fairly common in the modern period. This is attested to by the continuing appearance of occupational suffixes at the end of many English surnames. Some of these suffixes include: herd, monger, maker, hewer, smith, and wright. Similarly, surnames of office, which include military, judicial, papal and other positions of authority, are widespread throughout Europe. Those who were involved in the military, or feudal armies, were given names such as the English surname Archer, the French name Chevalier and the German name Jeger, which means hunter. Names that were derived from judicial and papal titles, such asBailiffe, Squire and Abbott, are still commonly seen with the same surname spelling today.

Early Origins of the Gardnor family

The surname Gardnor was first found in Oxfordshire where they held a family seat from very early times. Early records show William le Gardinier in county Rutland in 1199; William Gardin, listed in the Curia Regis Rolls of Huntingdon in 1218, John atte Gardyne, listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in 1296; and Walter le Gardiner listed in the Subsidy Rolls for London in 1292. [2]

The name is "most characteristic of the midland counties, and of the eastern counties south of the Wash. Singularly rare in the south - west, and in the north of England, excepting Lancashire. At present best represented in Essex, Lancashire, and Warwickshire." [3]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 has the following entries for the family: Geoffrey le Gardiner, Oxfordshire; Richard le Gardiner, Cambridgeshire; Ralph le Gardener, Huntingdonshire; and William le Gardiner, or Gardener, Lincolnshire. [4]

The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 had only two entries:Thomas Gardiner; and Thomas Garchiner as holding lands there at that time.

In Scotland, the name was rendered in Latin charters as ortolanus and under that spelling the first Scottish record was found: Rogerus Ortolanus, who was juror on an inquest in 1296. "In 1329 there is record of meal delivered to Nicholas Gerdener who is again referred to as Nicholas ortolanus. Gilbert ortolanus is also referred to in the same source. Robert Gardnar was a notary public in the diocese of Dunblane in 1426." [5]

Early History of the Gardnor family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gardnor research. Another 301 words (22 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1300, 1370, 1452, 1454, 1458, 1486, 1503, 1545, 1635, 1636, 1493, 1555, 1531, 1478, 1591, 1662, 1640, 1592, 1674, 1624, 1599, 1663, 1635, 1637, 1705, 1695, 1705, 1604 and are included under the topic Early Gardnor History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gardnor Spelling Variations

Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Gardnor include Gardiner, Gardner and others.

Early Notables of the Gardnor family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Stephen Gardiner (c.1493-1555), English prelate, who was made Bishop of Winchester (1531); Richard Gardyner, Lord Mayor of London in 1478; Thomas Gardiner (1591-1662), an English lawyer and politician who sat in the House of Commons in 1640, supporter of the Royalist cause in the English Civil War; Thomas Gardner (c. 1592-1674), English settler to Massachusetts, Overseer of...
Another 64 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gardnor Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Gardnor family to Ireland

Some of the Gardnor family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 100 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Gardnor family

Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Gardnor were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: Lyon Gardiner who settled in Saybrook, Long Island, after sailing in his 25 ton ketch called "Bachelor" in 1633. He purchased the island from the Indians, and this famous island was first known as Gardiner's Island. His daughter, Mary, was the first white person born on Long Island. Christopher Gardiner, came to New England in 1630.


Contemporary Notables of the name Gardnor (post 1700) +

  • John Gardnor (1729-1808), English painter who began life as a drawing-master, teaching drawing, painting, and calligraphy [6]


  1. Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  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. Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 June 2020


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