Garstom History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The distinguished surname Garstom emerged among the industrious people of Flanders, which was an important trading partner and political ally of Britain during the Middle Ages. As a result of the frequent commercial intercourse between the Flemish and English nations, many Flemish migrants settled in Britain. In early times, people were known by only a single name. However, as the population grew and people traveled further afield, it became increasingly necessary to assume an additional name to differentiate between bearers of the same personal name. One of the most common classes of surname is the patronymic surname, which was usually derived from the first name of the person's father. Flemish surnames of this type are often characterized by the diminutive suffix -kin, which became very frequent in England during the 14th century. The surname Garstom is derived from in Garston, Lancashire, a hamlet on the river Mersey. Here they held the title of Lords of the Manor of Garston, and from it took their name. There are several other locations so named in England and any individual case of the name may be a reference to the bearer's residence in one of these other places. The name of Garston, Lancashire derives from the Old English elements great, which means large or imposing, and stan, which means stone. Other places named Garston generally derive from the Old English elements goers or grass, which means grass, and tun, which means enclosure or settlement. This is a classic example of an English polygenetic surname, which is a surname that was developed in a number of different locations and adopted by various families independently.

Early Origins of the Garstom family

The surname Garstom was first found in Lancashire where they were Lords of the manor of Garston, a small hamlet on the Mersey. "At a very early period this place gave name to a local family, of whom Adam de Gerstan died in 1265." [1]

However, the first record was of Matthew de Garston who held land at Garston and the fourth part of the fishing on the River Mersey in 1130. Matthew was succeeded by Henry whose daughter Albrera gave to Henry of Walton one bovate of land. Gilbert de Garston also gave a bovate of land in Garston in 1199 to Roger, son of Osbertus of Aynosdale. Involved in this transaction was John, Earl of Morton, who confirmed this grant when he ascended the throne, King John.

Early History of the Garstom family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Garstom research. Another 38 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 1600, 1641, 1640 and 1641 are included under the topic Early Garstom History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Garstom Spelling Variations

Flemish surnames are characterized by a large number of spelling variations. One reason for this is that medieval English lacked definite spelling rules. The spellings of surnames were also influenced by the official court languages, which were French and Latin. Names were rarely spelled consistently in medieval times. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to specific spelling rules, and people often had their names registered in several different forms throughout their lives. One of the greatest reasons for change is the linguistic uniqueness of the Flemish settlers in England, who spoke a language closely related to Dutch. The pronunciation and spelling of Flemish names were often altered to suit the tastes of English-speaking people. In many cases, the first, final, or middle syllables of surnames were eliminated. The name has been spelled Garstone, Garston, Garstin, Garstine and others.

Early Notables of the Garstom family (pre 1700)

Another 31 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Garstom Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Garstom family to Ireland

Some of the Garstom family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 45 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Garstom family

The records on immigrants and ships' passengers show a number of people bearing the name Garstom: Joseph Garston who settled in Annapolis Maryland in 1753.



  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.


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