Show ContentsGarness History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

"This surname has been settled in Norfolk and Suffolk for six centuries. But the early scattered instances strongly presuppose a fontal origin." [1]

Another source postulates the name was "perhaps from a derivative of the Old French word gernon meaning ‘moustache’. [2]

Early Origins of the Garness family

The surname Garness was first found in Suffolk where Robert Garnoise held lands in 1194. Gilbert le Garneys was listed in Norfolk in 1269. [2] Another source notes Gilbert Garnoise succeeded Robert at Laxfield in 1202.

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included entries for Roger Garneys, Suffolk; John Gerneys, Southamptonshire; and John Gerneys, Lincolnshire. [1]

In Norfolk, we found entries for Robert Gameys, 1384; Ralph Garneys, 1446; and Nicholas Garnish, 1599 [3] and in Yorkshire, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed: Thomas Gamys; and Robert Gamys. [1]

Early History of the Garness family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Garness research. Another 107 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1379, 1513, 1455, 1487 and 1534 are included under the topic Early Garness History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Garness Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Garness were recorded, including Garnish, Garneys, Garnoise, Garnays, Gareneys, Garniss, Garnies, Garness, Garnesh, Garnishe and many more.

Early Notables of the Garness family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Sir Christopher Garneys or Garnysse (died 1534), Chief Porter of Calais, a gentleman usher of the king's chamber in the beginning of the reign of Henry VIII. "He was the king's companion in the masquerades then popular at court, and won money at cards from his royal master. He was rewarded by an annuity of 10l., soon afterwards...
Another 64 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Garness Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Garness family

To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Garness family emigrate to North America: settlers, who arrived along the eastern seaboard, from Newfoundland, to Maine, to Virginia, the Carolinas, and to the islands.

The Garness Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Goddes grace governe Garneys
Motto Translation: God's grace governs the Garneys

  1. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. Print on Facebook