Show ContentsGarretson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Garretson was brought to England in the wave of migration that followed the Norman Conquest of 1066. Garretson 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 Garretson family

The surname Garretson 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 Garretson family

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

Garretson Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years the English language had no fixed system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations occurred commonly in Anglo Norman surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Garretson were recorded, including Gear, Gayre, Gyre, Garrison, McGair, Kerrison and many more.

Early Notables of the Garretson family

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

Garretson Ranking

In the United States, the name Garretson is the 7,338th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [4]

United States Garretson migration to the United States +

The unstable environment in England at this time caused numerous families to board ships and leave in search of opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad in places like Ireland, Australia, and particularly the New World. The voyage was extremely difficult, however, and only taken at great expense. The cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels caused many to arrive diseased and starving, not to mention destitute from the enormous cost. Still opportunity in the emerging nations of Canada and the United States was far greater than at home and many went on to make important contributions to the cultures of their adopted countries. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Garretson arrived in North America very early:

Garretson Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Richard Garretson, who landed in Maryland in 1665 [5]
Garretson Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Arie Garretson, aged 81, who arrived in New York in 1745 [5]
Garretson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • C Garretson, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [5]
  • J Garretson, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Garretson (post 1700) +

  • Ron Garretson (b. 1958), American professional NBA basketball referee
  • Katy Garretson, American two-time Directors Guild of America award winning television director, best known for Frasier (1993), Sid the Science Kid (2008) and Still Standing (2002)
  • John Wesley Garretson (1812-1895), American surveyor who mapped large areas of Askansas and New Mexico in the 1800s
  • Darell Garretson (1932-2008), American NBA basketball referee
  • Bob Garretson (b. 1933), American racing driver
  • Austin Bruce Garretson (1856-1931), American labor leader, President of the Order of Railway Conductors who created an eight-hour day with time-and-a-half overtime pay for his members

  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.
  4. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  5. 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