Garris History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Garris was brought to England by the Normans when they conquered the country in 1066. It comes from the baptismal name Garrison, which means Gerard. That name was originally derived from the Old German Gerhard, which literally means spear-brave. 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 Garris family

The surname Garris was first found in Cornwall, where they received a grant of lands from the Count of Mortain in 1066.

Early History of the Garris family

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

Garris Spelling Variations

Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Garris family name include Gear, Gayre, Gyre, Garrison, McGair, Kerrison and many more.

Early Notables of the Garris family (pre 1700)

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


United States Garris migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Garris family to immigrate North America:

Garris Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Ernest Garris, aged 4, who landed in America, in 1896
  • Johan. Garris, aged 25, who immigrated to the United States, in 1896
Garris Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Sarah Garris, aged 45, who settled in America from England, in 1908
  • Anthony Wm. Garris, aged 19, who settled in America from England, in 1908

Contemporary Notables of the name Garris (post 1700) +

  • Kiwane Garris (b. 1974), American bronze medalist professional basketball player; he played for the US national team in the 1998 FIBA World Championship
  • John Brasker Garris (b. 1959), retired American NBA basketball player
  • Mick Garris (b. 1951), American filmmaker and screenwriter


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