Show ContentsGarniss 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 Garniss family

The surname Garniss 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 Garniss family

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

Garniss Spelling Variations

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Garniss has undergone many spelling variations, including Garnish, Garneys, Garnoise, Garnays, Gareneys, Garniss, Garnies, Garness, Garnesh, Garnishe and many more.

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

United States Garniss migration to the United States +

To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Garniss were among those contributors:

Garniss Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Garniss, who landed in Maryland in 1679 [4]
Garniss Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Garniss, who arrived in New York, NY in 1826 [4]

The Garniss 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
  4. 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) on Facebook