Gaynor History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Irish names tend to vary widely in their spelling and overall form. The original Gaelic form of the name Gaynor is "Mag Fhionnbhairr," which is derived from the word "fionnbharr," which means "fair head." [1]

The Mc Geaney and O'Geaney variants were originally Geibheannaigh in Gaelic which roughly translates to "fettered" in English. These branches were typically found in Co. Cork and Co. Roscommon. [1]

Early Origins of the Gaynor family

The surname Gaynor was first found in county Longford (Irish: An Longfort) traditionally known as Annaly or Teffia, and situated in the Irish Midlands, in Northwest Leinster. [2]

They claim descent through the Line of Ir, Irish kings and one source notes the Gaynor variant as originally Geraadhan in Gaelic. However, the same source claims the name could have been MacFinbhair, which matches the aforementioned entry. [3]

Early History of the Gaynor family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gaynor research. Another 64 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 117 and 1172 are included under the topic Early Gaynor History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gaynor Spelling Variations

Individual scribes in the Ireland during the Middle Ages would often record a person's name various ways. How the name was recorded depended on what that particular scribe believed the proper spelling for the name pronounced to him was. Spelling variations revealed in the search for the origin of the Gaynor family name include Gaynor, Gainor, Gainer, Gaines, Gains, McGaynor and others.

Early Notables of the Gaynor family (pre 1700)

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

Gaynor Ranking

In the United States, the name Gaynor is the 5,096th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [4]


United States Gaynor migration to the United States +

The English-ruled Ireland of the late 18th and 19th centuries featured a rapidly increasing population and an agricultural-based economy. This combination proved to be disastrous in the 1840s after a couple of failed potato harvests. Thousands died of disease and starvation, and thousands more left the country, often bound for North America. Those that survived the journey to North America were put to work building the bridges, canals, roadways, and railways needed for the development of an industrial society. Those Irish, although often despised by those already established in North American cities and towns, played an instrumental role in making Canada and the United States the powerful and wealthy nations that they are today. An examination of early immigration and passenger lists has shown many immigrants bearing the name Gaynor:

Gaynor Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Gaynor, who landed in New York in 1801 [5]
  • Michael Gaynor, who landed in Tippecanoe County, Ind in 1840 [5]
  • Capt. Gaynor, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [5]
  • Austin, Edward, James, John, Luke, Patrick, and Peter Gaynor, all, who arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860
  • James S Gaynor, who arrived in Mississippi in 1868 [5]

Canada Gaynor migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Gaynor Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. James Gaynor U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 he died in 1823 [6]
  • Mr. Peter Gaynor U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 [6]
Gaynor Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Catherine Gaynor, aged 20, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the ship "Edwin" from Dublin, Ireland
  • Mrs. Margaret Gaynor, aged 50 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Marinus" departing from the port of Dublin, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle in August 1847 [7]
  • Mr. Edward Gaynor, aged 1 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Lord Ashburton" departing 13th September 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 1st November 1847 but he died on board [8]
  • Ms. Mary Gaynor, aged 24 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Jessie" departing 3rd June 1847 from Cork, Ireland; the ship arrived on 24th July 1847 but she died on board [8]
  • Edward Walter Gaynor, who landed in Canada in 1888

Australia Gaynor migration to Australia +

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

Gaynor Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Edward Gaynor, English convict from Kent, who was transported aboard the "Ann" on August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia [9]
  • Mr. John Gaynor, (James, Gainer, Gaine, Gagnor), (b. 1804), aged 16, Irish errand boy 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 [10]
  • Miss Mary Ann Gaynor, (b. 1817), aged 20, Irish childs maid who was convicted in Sligo, Ireland for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Diamond" on 29th November 1837, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [11]
  • Mr. Patrick Gaynor, (b. 1808), aged 30, Irish soldier who was convicted in Cape of Good Hope, Cape Town, South Africa for life for mutiny, transported aboard the "Clyde" on 11th May 1838, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [12]
  • H. Gaynor, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Calphurnia" in 1849 [13]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Gaynor 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:

Gaynor Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Terence Gaynor, aged 19, a farm labourer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Queen of Nations" in 1874

Contemporary Notables of the name Gaynor (post 1700) +

  • John Bernard "J.B." Gaynor (b. 1990), American former teen actor, best known for his role as Young Eddie in Grounded for Life
  • Gloria Gaynor (b. 1949), born Gloria Fowles, American singer, best known for the disco era hits "I Will Survive" and "Never Can Say Goodbye"
  • Adam Gaynor (b. 1963), American rhythm guitarist, best-known as the former rhythm guitarist for the band Matchbox Twenty
  • Mitzi Gaynor (b. 1931), born Francesca Marlene de Czanyi von Gerber, an American Laurel and Emmy Award winning actress, singer, and dancer perhaps best known for her role in Rodgers and Hammerstein's South Pacific
  • Janet Gaynor (1906-1984), American silent film actress who became the first winner of the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performances in three films, the only occasion on which an actress has won for multiple roles
  • William Jay Gaynor (1849-1913), American mayor of the City of New York from 1910 to 1913, as well as a New York Supreme Court Justice from 1893 to 1909
  • Francis Robert Gaynor (1852-1920), American Republican politician, District judge in Iowa 4th District, 1891-1912; Justice of Iowa State Supreme Court, 1913-20 [14]
  • Edward M. Gaynor, American Republican politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Illinois 5th District, 1950 [14]
  • Donald Gaynor, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 2000 [14]
  • Dan Gaynor, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Iowa, 1956 [14]
  • ... (Another 14 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, The Surnames of Ireland. Ireland: Irish Academic Press, sixth edition, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2366-3)
  2. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, More Irish Families. Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0)
  3. ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
  4. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  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. 30)
  8. ^ 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)
  9. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Ann voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1809 with 200 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/ann/1809
  10. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 12th July 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/dorothy
  11. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 1st July 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/Diamond
  12. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 24th February 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/clyde
  13. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The CALPHURNIA 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Calpurnia.htm
  14. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 19) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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