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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The family name Gaylor is thought to be of Norman origins. Originally, Gaylor was a name given to a happy, joyous, and bold person. The name Gaylor derives from the nickname the galliard, which means the bold or the joyous.

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The surname Gaylor was first found in county Devon where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Gaylor have been found, including Gaylord, Gaillard, Galliard, Gaylor, Gayleard and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gaylor research. Another 131 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 135 and 1351 are included under the topic Early Gaylor History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 39 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gaylor Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Gaylor were among those contributors:

Gaylor Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • John Gaylor, who arrived in Virginia in 1652

Gaylor Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • R C Gaylor, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1855
  • Robt. S. Gaylor, aged 32, who landed in America, in 1893
  • Edward Gaylor, aged 25, who emigrated to the United States from Liverpool, in 1897
  • Frank Gaylor, aged 17, who landed in America from Liverpool, in 1897

Gaylor Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Ralph W. Gaylor, who settled in America, in 1907
  • John Gaylor, aged 26, who landed in America from Hoylake, England, in 1909
  • Joseph Gaylor, aged 35, who settled in America from Ireland, in 1910
  • Lena Gaylor, aged 35, who landed in America from Bradford, England, in 1911
  • Isabel Gaylor, aged 15, who landed in America from Brodsford, England, in 1911


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  • Alan B. Gaylor (1926-2008), American businessman best known as the founder of Al's Formal Wear
  • Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Robert D. Gaylor (b. 1930), the fifth Chief Master Sergeant
  • Annie Laurie Gaylor (b. 1955), co-founder of the Freedom From Religion Foundation


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  1. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  2. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  3. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  4. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  5. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  6. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  7. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  8. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  9. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  10. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  11. ...

The Gaylor Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Gaylor Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 17 November 2015 at 16:56.

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