Show ContentsGarratt History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Although the Garratt surname came to Britain with the Normans, it derives from the Germanic personal names Gerard, or Gerald, composed of the elements "gar," or "ger," meaning "spear," "hard," meaning "brave," or "strong," and "wald," meaning "rule." The Anglo-Norman surname Garratt in Ireland was often Mac Gerailt, and was used as a synonym of Fitzgerald.

Early Origins of the Garratt family

The surname Garratt was first found in County Carlow (Irish: Cheatharlach) a small landlocked area located in the province of Leinster in the South East of Ireland, where some of the name may have come from Anglicized versions of MacOrcachta, believed to be descended from Cathal, brother of Teige Mor, of the powerful O'Connors of Connacht. However, it is thought that the majority of this name in Ireland are of English (Norman) stock.

Early History of the Garratt family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Garratt research. Another 27 words (2 lines of text) covering the year 1598 is included under the topic Early Garratt History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Garratt Spelling Variations

Since the early scribes and church officials who recorded names in official documents spelled a person's name as it sounded to them, a single person's name was recorded under several different variations and which today appears to denote more than one person. Among the many spelling variations of the surname Garratt that are preserved in archival documents of this era include Garrett, Garratt, MacGarrett, McGarraty, Garret, Garrat, Garet, Garitt, Garatt and many more.

Early Notables of the Garratt family (pre 1700)

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

United States Garratt migration to the United States +

The late 18th saw the beginnings of a steady pattern of immigration out of Ireland. These initial settlers were drawn to North America by the promise of land. The prospect of their own tract of land to work solely for themselves was especially appealing to those that rented out farmland in Ireland from English landowners who were frequently absent. These immigrants were critical to occupying the land of the eastern United States and British North America. This pattern continued steadily until the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine sparked a major exodus of Irish families. Unlike their predecessors, the Irish were frequently destitute and desperate, and North America was regarded as holding more promise than trying to eke out an existence in Ireland - if they survived the disease and starvation that the famine had created. This great mass of people frequently experienced more racial discrimination by the general population when they arrived on North American shores, but they were warmly received by those industrialists with coal mines to work, products to manufacture, and railways to build. These Irish immigrants provided the nations of the United States and, what would later become Canada, with the cheap labor that was required for their rapid development as major industrialized nations. Whenever and however Irish immigrants came to North America, they were instrumental to its cultural, economic, and industrial development. Immigration and passenger lists have shown many early immigrants bearing the name Garratt:

Garratt Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Samuell Garratt, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1738 [1]
Garratt Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Hann Garratt, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1873 [1]

Australia Garratt migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Garratt Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Samuel Garratt, British Convict who was convicted in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Countess of Harcourt" on 8th April 1821, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [2]
  • George Garratt, English convict from London, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 29, 1828, settling in New South Wales, Australia [3]
  • Mr. William Garratt, British Convict who was convicted in Bedford, England for 14 years for theft, transported aboard the "Asia" on 25th April 1840, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [4]
  • Job Garratt, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "William Mitchell" in 1840 [5]
  • Louisa Garratt, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "William Mitchell" in 1840 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Garratt migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Garratt Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas L. Garratt, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Light Brigade" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 26th August 1868 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Garratt (post 1700) +

  • John Garratt, English politician, Lord Mayor of London in 1824-25
  • Chris Garratt, English co-creator of the Biff cartoon character
  • Wayne Malcolm Garratt (1968-1992), British speedway rider, active from 1986 through 1992 when he died as a result of a crash on Sunday, September 13th at Brough Park
  • Nick Garratt, Australian women's sculling team coach at the 2008 Summer Olympics
  • Martin Blake George Garratt (b. 1980), English former football midfielder
  • Humphry Stone Garratt (1898-1974), English cricketer, active in the 1920s
  • Herbert William Garratt (1864-1913), English mechanical engineer, inventor of the Garratt system of articulated locomotives
  • Steven Arthur Garratt (b. 1953), English cricket umpire from Nottingham

The Garratt 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: Semper fidelis
Motto Translation: Always faithful.

  1. 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)
  2. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 24th March 2021). Retrieved from
  3. State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 24) Albion voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1828 with 192 passengers. Retrieved from
  4. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th January 2020). Retrieved from
  5. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) WILLIAM MITCHELL 1840. Retrieved from
  6. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from on Facebook