Origins Available: English
The surname Gayre is a nickname
surname; that is, it is derived from a nickname given to the original bearer. A broad and miscellaneous class of surnames, nickname surnames referred to a characteristic of the first person who used the name. They can describe the bearer's favored style of clothing, appearance, habits, or character. Often nicknames described strong traits or attributes that people wished to emulate in a specific animal. In the pre-Christian era, many pagan gods and demi-gods were believed to be a mixture of animals and humans, such as the Greek god Pan who was the god of flocks and herds and was represented as a man with the legs, horns and ears of a goat. In the Middle Ages, anthropomorphic ideas, which attributed human qualities and form to gods or animals, were held about the characters of other living creatures. They were based on the creature's habits. Moreover, these associations were reflected in folk tales, mythology, and legends which portrayed animals behaving as humans. The surname Gayre is derived from the Old German word "gir," which means "vulture." It was given to a person known for greedy, predatory ways.
Early Origins of the Gayre family
The surname Gayre was first found in Padeborn, in the ancient duchy of Saxony
, where this family name became a prominent contributor to the development of the district from ancient times. As early as 1288 Johann Gyr appears in mediaeval feudal
documents as county ruler in Warburg. As old as these documents may be, the name is also associated with families of ancient nobility in Austria
and Franconia (later Hessen). Always prominent in social affairs, the name Geyer became an integral part of that turbulent region as it emerged to form alliances with other families within the Feudal
System and the nation.
Early History of the Gayre family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gayre research.Another 267 words (19 lines of text) covering the years 1490, 1525, 1665, 1685, and 1743 are included under the topic Early Gayre History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Gayre Spelling Variations
of this family name include: Geier, Geyer, Gayer, Gaier, Gire, Gyre, Geyre, Gayre, Geyr and many more.
Early Notables of the Gayre family (pre 1700)
Another 39 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gayre Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Gayre family to the New World and Oceana
Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: Johann Jacob Geyer, who came to Philadelphia in 1737; K.C. Geyer came to Providence, Rhode Island in 1823; Andreas Geyer (or Geier), with his wife and two children, came to Texas in 1846..