Gerald History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The Strongbownians added their own naming traditions to the eastern region of Ireland to which they arrived. The impact of this new tradition was not extremely disruptive to the pre-existing Irish tradition because the two had many similarities. Both cultures made significant use of hereditary surnames. And like the Irish, the Strongbownians often used prefixes to build patronymic surnames, which are names based on the given name of the initial bearer's father or another older relative. Strongbow's followers often created names that were built with the prefix Fitz-, which was derived from the French word fils, and ultimately from the Latin filius, both of which mean son. They also used diminutive suffixes such as "-ot," "-et," "-un," "-in," or "-el," and occasionally even two suffixes combined to form a double diminutive such as "-el-in," "-el-ot," "-in-ot," and "-et-in," to build patronymic names. The surname Gerald is derived from the Norman personal name Gerald, which consists of the Germanic elements "geri" or "gari," which mean "spear," and "wald," which means "rule." The name features the distinctive Irish patronymic prefix fitz, which means son of in Anglo-French. This is derived from the Old French word "fils," which ultimately comes from the Latin word "filius." The Gaelic form of the surname Gerald is "Mac Gerailt."
Early Origins of the Gerald family
The surname Gerald was first found in Munster, where they were granted lands by the Earl of Pembroke during his invasion of Ireland in 1172.
Saint and Bishop Gerald (d. 731), of Magh Eo, now Mayo, "was, according to the life published by the Bollandists, and attributed by Colgan to Augustin Magraidin (1405), a monk from the neighbourhood of Winchester, who, with some companions, migrated to Ireland, in order to lead a solitary life. Another account connects his leaving England with the defeat of St. Colman, bishop of Lindisfarne, at the conference at Whitby on the Easter question. The party landed in Connaught and made their way northward to Sligo. Gerald built a church in Mayo which he called Cill n-ailither, or the Church of the Pilgrims." 
Otho Geraldino, one of the chief commanders of Williams the Conqueror landed in England at the time of the Conquest and was created a Baron for his efforts. As Norman constable of Pembroke, South Wales, he went into Ireland with Strongbow in the Anglo- Norman invasion. Two generations later, Maurice was the first to use the name Fitzgerald. He was granted lands in Munster in the south of Ireland. 
Maurice Fitzgerald (d. 1176), was the Welsh conqueror of Ireland, "the son Nesta, daughter of Rhys the Great, king of South Wales. He was thus half-brother to Robert Fitzstephen and Meiler Fitzhenry, and brother of David II, Bishop of St. David's. His father Gerald, according to later genealogists, was grandson of Walter Fitzother, who figures in 'Domesday' as a tenant at Windsor and elsewhere, and lord of manors in Surrey, Hampshire, Berkshire, Middlesex, and Buckinghamshire." 
Early History of the Gerald family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gerald research. Another 332 words (24 lines of text) covering the years 1333, 1411, 1316, 1716, 1513, 1537, 1411, 1809, 1883, 1398, 1513, 1487, 1534, 1534, 1528, 1589, 1612, 1660, 1634, 1664, 1660, 1660 and 1661 are included under the topic Early Gerald History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Gerald Spelling Variations
During the lifetime of an individual person, his name was often spelt by church officials and medieval scribes the way it sounded. An examination of the many different origins of each name has revealed many spelling variations for the name: Fitzgerald, Geraldines, Desmond, Gerald, Geralds and others.
Early Notables of the Gerald family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family up to this time was Gerald Fitzgerald, 4th Earl of Desmond (d. 1398), Justiciar of Ireland, the son of Maurice Fitzthomas, the first earl of Desmond.
Gerald Fitzgerald, 8th Earl of Kildare (d. 1513), was son of Thomas Fitzgerald, seventh earl of Kildare.
Gerald Fitzgerald (1487-1534), 9th Earl of Kildare, was impeached of high treason and died for his causes at the Tower of London 1534.
Lady Elizabeth Fitzgerald, called...
Another 72 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gerald Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
In the United States, the name Gerald is the 4,154th most popular surname with an estimated 7,461 people with that name. 
Gerald migration to the United States +
Ireland's Great Potato Famine left the country's inhabitants in extreme poverty and starvation. Many families left their homeland for North America for the promise of work, freedom and land ownership. Although the Irish were not free of economic and racial discrimination in North America, they did contribute greatly to the rapid development of bridges, canals, roads, and railways. Eventually, they would be accepted in other areas such as commerce, education, and the arts. An examination of immigration and passenger lists revealed many bearing the name Gerald:
Gerald Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Richard Gerald, who landed in Maryland in 1652 
Gerald Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Berthold Gerald, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 
- Albin Gerald, aged 17, who landed in New York, NY in 1893 
Gerald migration to Canada +
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
Gerald Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
- Michael F. Gerald, aged 19, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship "Ward" from Limerick, Ireland
- Miss. Johanna Gerald, aged 3 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Bridgetown" departing 3rd July 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 29th August 1847 but she died on board 
Contemporary Notables of the name Gerald (post 1700) +
- Edmund Gerald, American politician, Governor of California (1959-1967)
- J. Bates Gerald (b. 1895), American Republican politician, South Carolina Republican State Chair, 1938-50; Member of Republican National Committee from South Carolina, 1949 
- Fred Gerald (b. 1941), American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Virginia, 2004 
- Don Gerald, American politician, Mayor of Champaign, Illinois, 2011 
- Amos F. Gerald (1841-1918), American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Maine 3rd District, 1900 
- Frederick Fitz Gerald, American politician, U.S. Consul in Cognac, 1897 
- Terry Gerald Eades (1944-2021), Northern Irish former professional footballer who played in Football League for Cambridge United and Watford
- Charles Gerald Kirkconnell (1891-1961), born in the Cayman Islands, boat builder, merchant and took over R.B Kirkconnell and Bros which was founded in 1896 with family
- John Gerald Geddert (1957-2021), American artistic gymnastics coach, who was a head coach of the gold-medal 2012 U.S. women's Olympic team
- Ralph Gerald Backstrom (1937-2021), Canadian professional NHL ice hockey centre who played between 1956 and 1973, winner of the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL's rookie of the year in 1959
Related Stories +
The Gerald Motto +
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Crom aboo
Motto Translation: Crom for ever.
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- ^ O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
- ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
- ^ 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)
- ^ 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)
- ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 7) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
- ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 28) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html