Garnon History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought many new words to England from which surnames were formed. Garnon was one of these new Norman names. It was specifically tailored to its first bearer, who was a person who had a moustache. The name was originally derived from Old English words gernon or grenon, which meant moustache.
Early Origins of the Garnon family
The surname Garnon was first found in Montfiquet, in the district of Bayeux. Robert de Guernon accompanied the William the Conqueror at Hastings in 1066 A.D. Robert held estates in Herefordshire, Suffolk, and a great barony in Essex. Another early notable of the family was Ranulf II (also known as Ranulf de Gernon) (1099-1153), a Norman-born, potentate who inherited the honour of the palatine county of Chester. He claimed descent from the Counts of Bessin in Normandy.
Thoydon-Garnon in Essex was and ancient homestead of the family. "The parish takes the adjunct to its name from the family of Gernon, who were anciently its proprietors."  Great and Little Birch in Essex was an ancient family seat. "Birch Castle was fortified against Henry III. by Sir Ralph Gernon, then lord of the manor: there are still some remains." 
Early History of the Garnon family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Garnon research. Another 163 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1170 and 1273 are included under the topic Early Garnon History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Garnon Spelling Variations
Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Garnon, Garnons, Gernan, Gernon, Gernen, Garnham and many more.
Early Notables of the Garnon family
More information is included under the topic Early Garnon Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Garnon family to Ireland
Some of the Garnon family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 53 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
| Garnon migration to the United States
To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Garnon or a variant listed above:
Garnon Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Judith Garnon to America in 1763
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: Nid cyfoeth
Motto Translation: Not wealth, but contentment.(Welsh.
- Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.