Garrett History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Although the Garrett 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 Garrett in Ireland was often Mac Gerailt, and was used as a synonym of Fitzgerald.

Early Origins of the Garrett family

The surname Garrett 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 Garrett family

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

Garrett Spelling Variations

In the days before Gaelic or English gained any significant semblance of standardization, the scribes who created documents simply recorded names as they sounded. Consequently, in the Middle Ages many people were recorded under different spellings each time their name was written down. Research on the Garrett family name revealed numerous spelling variations, including Garrett, Garratt, MacGarrett, McGarraty, Garret, Garrat, Garet, Garitt, Garatt and many more.

Early Notables of the Garrett family (pre 1700)

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

Garrett World Ranking

In the United States, the name Garrett is the 238th most popular surname with an estimated 111,915 people with that name. [1] However, in Australia, the name Garrett is ranked the 742nd most popular surname with an estimated 5,234 people with that name. [2] And in New Zealand, the name Garrett is the 542nd popular surname with an estimated 1,292 people with that name. [3] The United Kingdom ranks Garrett as 667th with 9,875 people. [4]


United States Garrett migration to the United States +

Many Irish families left the English-controlled Ireland in the 19th century. Early immigrants were primarily after land and the opportunity of living a life entirely of their own fashioning. In the 1840s, this pattern of immigration changed as the Great Potato Famine struck Ireland. Hundreds of thousands left the diseased and starving island with little expectations but many hopes. By this time there was very little available land in the east, so many immigrants joined the movement for the western frontier lands, or settled in established urban centers. Irish immigrants not only made enormous contributions to the rapid development and population of North America, but they also brought with them a rich cultural heritage. Immigration and passenger ship lists show some important early immigrants bearing the name Garrett:

Garrett Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Garrett, who landed in Virginia in 1619 [5]
  • Richard Garrett, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1630 [5]
  • John Garrett, who landed in Virginia in 1636 [5]
  • Elia Garrett, who landed in Virginia in 1636 [5]
  • Adrey Garrett, who landed in Virginia in 1637 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Garrett Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Catherine Garrett, who arrived in Virginia in 1701 [5]
  • William Garrett, who arrived in Virginia in 1713 [5]
  • Susannah Garrett, who landed in Virginia in 1714 [5]
  • John Garrett, who landed in Virginia in 1714 [5]
  • Isaac Garrett, who landed in Virginia in 1714 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Garrett Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Henry Garrett, who settled in New York, NY in 1803
  • Hen Garrett, aged 33, who arrived in New York, NY in 1803 [5]
  • S Ann Garrett, aged 27, who landed in New York, NY in 1803 [5]
  • James Garrett, aged 45, who arrived in New York, NY in 1812 [5]
  • Hugh Garrett, who landed in New York, NY in 1815 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Garrett migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Garrett Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Richard Garrett U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway [Shelburne], Nova Scotia on October 26, 1783 was passenger number 228 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on September 28, 1783 at Staten Island, New York [6]
  • Mr. Ronald Lee Garrett U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [6]
  • Mr. William Garrett U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [6]
  • William Garrett, who arrived in Quebec in 1784
Garrett Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Isaac Garrett, who arrived in Canada in 1831
  • Townsend Garrett, who arrived in Canada in 1831
  • Mr. Owen Garrett, aged 7 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Goliah" departing 21st May 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 18th July 1847 but he died on board [7]
  • Augustus S Garrett, who arrived in Esquimalt, British Columbia in 1862

Australia Garrett migration to Australia +

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

Garrett Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Richard Garrett, British convict who was convicted in Shropshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Calcutta" in February 1803, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [8]
  • Mr. Thomas Garrett, (b. 1800), aged 20, Irish tabacconist who was convicted in Dublin, Ireland for 7 years for felony, transported aboard the "Dorothy" on 5th May 1820, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [9]
  • Mr. William Garrett, British Convict who was convicted in London, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Earl St Vincent" on 6th April 1820, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [10]
  • William Garrett, English convict from Wiltshire, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on April 1st, 1822, settling in New South Wales, Australia [11]
  • Benjamin Garrett, a baker, who arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Garrett 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:

Garrett Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • W W G Garrett, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1841 aboard the ship Gertrude
  • Ellen Garrett, aged 18, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Gertrude" in 1841
  • Mr. Garrett, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Gertrude" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 31st October 1841 [12]
  • Mrs. Garrett, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Gertrude" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 31st October 1841 [12]
  • Child Garrett, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Gertrude" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 31st October 1841 [12]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Garrett migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [13]
Garrett Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Tho Garrett, aged 20, who arrived in St Christopher in 1635 [5]
  • Mr. Thomas Garrett, (b. 1615), aged 20, British settler traveling aboard the ship "Matthew" arriving in St Christopher (Saint Kitts) in 1635 [14]

Contemporary Notables of the name Garrett (post 1700) +

  • Henry Adrian Garrett Jr. (1943-2021), nicknamed "Pat" and "Smokey", an American Major League Baseball player and coach
  • James W. Garrett (1930-2018), American football player, coach, and scout
  • Helen Elizabeth Garrett (1963-2016), American professor of law and an academic administrator, 13th President of Cornell University (2015-2016)
  • Robert Garrett (1875-1961), American two time gold and two time silver Olympic medalist for athletics in the 1896 games and two time bronze medalist for 1900 games [15]
  • Brigadier-General Robert C. Garrett (1886-1981), American Commanding General Hawaiian Seacoast Artillery Command (1941-1945) [16]
  • Mario Garrett (b. 1959), American professor, and Chairman of the Department of Gerontology, at San Diego State University
  • Patrick "Pat" Floyd Garrett (1850-1908), American "Old West" lawman, and customs agent, best known as the sheriff who tracked down and shot the escaped outlaw Billy the Kid
  • Thomas Garrett (1789-1871), American Quaker merchant, credited with helping more than 2,700 slaves escape to freedom
  • George Palmer Garrett Jr. (b. 1929), American poet, novelist, short story writer and Professor of English
  • Scott Garrett (b. 1959), American politician, member of the United States House of Representatives
  • ... (Another 109 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMAS Sydney II
  • Mr. Basil Farmer Garrett (1919-1941), English Able Seaman from Hanwell, Ealing, England, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II and died in the sinking [17]
Pan Am Flight 103 (Lockerbie)
  • Paul Isaac Garrett (1947-1988), American Flight Attendant from Napa, California, America, who flew aboard the Pan Am Flight 103 from Frankfurt to Detroit, known as the Lockerbie bombing in 1988 and died [18]
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Orville Wilmer Garrett, American Shipfitter Second Class from Missouri, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [19]


The Garrett 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.


Suggested Readings for the name Garrett +

  • A Book of Garretts, 1600-1960 by Hester Elizabeth Garrett.
  • Garrett, Catlett, Ware, and Related Families by Sunie Garrett Talbert Elliott Fisher.

  1. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  2. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  3. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  4. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  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)
  6. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  7. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 77)
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/calcutta
  9. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 12th July 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/dorothy
  10. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 10th September 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-st-vincent
  11. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1822 with 190 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1822
  12. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  13. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  14. ^ Pilgrim Ship's of 1600's (Retrieved October 4th 2021, retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  15. ^ Athletes - Famous Olympic Athletes, Medalists, Sports Heroes. (Retrieved 2014, February 20) Robert Garrett. Retrieved from http://www.olympic.org/content/olympic-athletes/generic-athlete-page/?athleteid=58193
  16. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2012, March 5) Robert Garrett. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Garrett/Robert_C./USA.html
  17. ^ HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from http://www.findingsydney.com/roll.asp
  18. ^ Pan Am Flight 103's victims: A list of those killed 25 years ago | syracuse.com. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2013/12/pan_am_flight_103s_victims_a_list_of_those_killed_25_years_ago.html
  19. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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