Garver History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Garver comes from when its first bearer worked as a wood-carver or sculptor. The former occupation was more common than the latter. Chaucer describes a wood-carver in the late 13th century "Knight's Tale", writing, "Ne purteyour, ne kerver of images."

The surname Garver is derived from the Old English word ceorfan, which means to cut or to carve. However, the surname Garver may also be derived from the occupation of a ploughman. In this case, the surname Garver is derived from the Old French words charuier and caruier, which both mean ploughman. [1]

Early Origins of the Garver family

The surname Garver was first found in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 where Adam le Karver was listed in Devon and Richard le Kerver was found in Lincolnshire. [2]

Years later, the family was found much further to the north in Scotland where "payment was made to John Kerver, merchant of Scotland, 1476. Symon Karwur bound himself to the Abbey of Dunfermelyn in 1507 'for all and hail the dais of his lyfe that he sall remane and wirk in the abba in the craft of the wryt craft and repare all neidfull werkis of the samyn als far has he hafis knawlege' . Robert Carwor witnessed a precept of sasine at Scone, 1544." [3]

Early History of the Garver family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Garver research. Another 137 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1290, 1505, 1203, 1275, 1490, 1567, 1576, 1621, 1620, 1607, 1608, 1710 and 1780 are included under the topic Early Garver History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Garver Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Garver include Carver, Carvere, Carvar, Carever, Carber, Kerver and many more.

Early Notables of the Garver family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Robert Carver (1490-1567), Scottish Renaissance monk and composer of Christian sacred music. John Carver (c.1576-1621), was leader of the 'Pilgrim fathers,' an Englishman and agent of the English congregational church at Leyden in Holland. When he sailed in the Mayflower (1620) he was 'of good age,' father of several children, one daughter being aged 14. In his time the name of Carver, alias Calver, was common in the midland counties, and the best conjecture is that he...
Another 84 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Garver Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Garver migration to the United States +

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Garver or a variant listed above:

Garver Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Garver, who arrived in America in 1836 [4]
  • Mary Garver, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [4]
  • John Garver, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1864 [4]
  • Adeline Garver, aged 17, who immigrated to the United States, in 1895
Garver Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • James Garver, aged 27, who immigrated to the United States from Glasgow, in 1906
  • Chauncey B. Garver, who landed in America, in 1907
  • Lewis Kaye Garver, aged 44, who landed in America from Korkburton, England, in 1911
  • Frank Garver, aged 24, who immigrated to America, in 1917
  • Anthony Garver, aged 44, who settled in America, in 1919
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Garver (post 1700) +

  • Ned Franklin Garver (1925-2017), American Major League Baseball pitcher who played from 1948 to 1961
  • Kathleen Marie "Kathy" Garver (b. 1945), American television, stage, screen, and voice actress
  • John F. Garver (1878-1949), American leader in the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
  • Lori Beth Garver (b. 1961), American Deputy NASA Administrator
  • Michael Garver, American politician, Member of California State Assembly, 1877-80, 1891-93 [5]
  • John B. Garver, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Ohio, 1956, 1960 (alternate) [5]
  • Ivan E. Garver, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1936, 1940 [5]
  • George G. Garver (b. 1932), American politician, Mayor of Georgetown, Texas, 2008- [5]
  • E. S. Garver, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Missouri, 1892 [5]
  • D. L. Garver, American politician, Laborer; Candidate for Mayor of Muskegon, Michigan, 1916 [5]
  • ... (Another 5 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 18) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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