Garetson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Garetson family migrated to England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The surname Garetson is based on the baptismal name Garrison, which means Gerard. That name was originally derived from the Old German Gerhard, which literally means spear-brave. [1]

Baptismal names began to appear as surnames relatively late in the growth of the naming tradition. This is a little surprising, given the popularity of biblical figures in the Christian countries of Europe. Nevertheless, surnames derived from baptismal names grew in popularity during the Middle Ages, and have become one of the foremost sources for surnames.

Early Origins of the Garetson family

The surname Garetson was first found in the North Riding of Yorkshire where the family originated in Garriston, a small township, in the parish of Haukswell, union of Leyburn, wapentake of Hang-West. [2] [3]

Early History of the Garetson family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Garetson research. Another 130 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1066 and 1613 are included under the topic Early Garetson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Garetson Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Garetson include Gear, Gayre, Gyre, Garrison, McGair, Kerrison and many more.

Early Notables of the Garetson family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Garetson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Garetson family

In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Garetsons to arrive on North American shores: William Lloyd Garrison who was mobbed in the streets of Boston in 1835 because he was an abolitionist(slavery); R.W. Garrison or Garriston who settled in Baltimore, Maryland in 1872.



  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.


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