Gerard History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The rich and ancient history of the Gerard family name dates back to the time of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It comes from the son of Gerard. The surname Gerard was originally derived from the Old German Gerhard which meant spear-brave. In Old English, patronyms were formed by adding a variety of suffixes to personal names, which changed over time and from place to place. For example, after the Norman Conquest, sunu and sune, which meant son, were the most common patronymic suffixes. In the 12th and 13th centuries, the most common patronymic names included the word filius, which meant son. By the 14th century, the suffix son had replaced these earlier versions. Surnames that were formed with filius or son were more common in the north of England and it was here that the number of individuals without surnames was greatest at this time.

Early Origins of the Gerard family

The surname Gerard was first found in Lancashire where they held a family seat from very ancient times. The Gerrard family name, also spelled Gerard and Jarrard, is traced by historians to the grandson of Edward the Confessor (1004-1066). In England the name was first recorded in the Domesday Book in 1086. Gerard (died 21 May 1108), was Lord Chancellor of England (1085-1092) appointed by William I, and later Archbishop of York (1100-1108.) He may have been with the king's hunting party when William II was killed, as he witnessed the first charter issued by the new king, Henry I of England, a few days later. Windle with Hardshaw in Lancashire was home to the family in later years. "In the reign of Edward III., the manor was held under William Boteler by Peter de Burnhull, with whose heiress the Gerards acquired the property; and this latter family are the present lords. Windle Hall belongs to Sir John Gerard, Bart., at whose annual court lor the manor of Windle, officers are chosen for the township." [1]

Important Dates for the Gerard family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gerard research. Another 127 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1177, 1545, 1611, 1593, 1559, 1581, 1564, 1618, 1622, 1613, 1640, 1634, 1667, 1587, 1670, 1617, 1680, 1641, 1660, 1618, 1683, 1660, 1687, 1661, 1685, 1659, 1701, 1689 and 1694 are included under the topic Early Gerard History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gerard Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Gerard have been found, including Gerrard, Gerard, Jarrard, Jared, Garrad, Garred, Jarratt, Jarrett and many more.

Early Notables of the Gerard family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include John Gerard (Gerarde) (1545-1611), an English botanist and herbalist, who maintained a large herbal garden in London, eponym of the botanical genus Gerardia; Sir Gilbert Gerard (died 1593), a prominent lawyer, politician, and landowner who served six times as a member of the English parliament, Attorney-General (1559) Master of the Rolls (1581); Sir Thomas Gerard, 1st Baron Gerard (ca. 1564-1618); Gilbert Gerard, 2nd Baron Gerard (d. 1622); Dutton Gerard, 3rd Baron Gerard (1613-1640); Charles Gerard, 4th Baron Gerard (1634-1667); Sir Gilbert Gerard, 1st Baronet of Harrow on...
Another 95 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gerard Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gerard migration to the United States

Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Among the first immigrants of the name Gerard, or a variant listed above to cross the Atlantic and come to North America were :

Gerard Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Richard Gerard, who arrived in Maryland in 1633 [2]
  • Jon Gerard, who landed in Virginia in 1634 [2]
  • Winifred Gerard, who arrived in Maryland in 1658 [2]
  • John Gerard, who arrived in Maryland in 1662 [2]
Gerard Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Hans Peter Gerard, who arrived in New York in 1709 [2]
  • Jean Gerard, who arrived in Louisiana in 1718 [2]
  • Nich Gerard, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1736 [2]
  • Nicolas Gerard, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1736 [2]
  • Francois Gerard, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1764 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Gerard Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Alexander Gerard, who arrived in Virginia in 1808 [2]
  • Peter Gerard, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1826 [2]
  • James Gerard, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1840 [2]
  • Robert Gerard, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1860 [2]
  • Sylvestre Gerard, aged 32, who arrived in New York, NY in 1872 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Gerard migration to Australia

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

Gerard Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Francois Gerard, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Agamemnon" on April 22, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia [3]

Gerard 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:

Gerard Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Alexander Gerard, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Strathfieldsaye" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 29th April 1858 [4]
  • Mrs. Gerard, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Strathfieldsaye" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 29th April 1858 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Gerard (post 1700)

  • James Watson Gerard (1867-1951), American lawyer and diplomat
  • Francis R. Gerard, American fighter pilot and flying ace in the U.S. Army Air Forces, during World War II, credited with 8 aerial victories
  • Colonel William Cansfield Gerard DSO (b. 1851), 2nd Baron Gerard, a British Army officer and nobleman
  • Étienne Maurice Gérard, French Divisional General during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars from 1789 to 1815 [5]
  • François-Joseph Gérard, French Divisional General during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars from 1789 to 1815 [6]
  • Alexander Gerard (1728-1795), British philosophical writer, eponym of the lunar Gerard crater
  • William Gerard, Australian industrialist
  • Rev. George Gerard, Canon of Sheffield Cathedral
  • Richard James "Jim" Gerard (b. 1936), former New Zealand politician
  • Richard Geoffrey Gerard (1904-1997), New Zealand politician
  • ... (Another 2 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

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Citations

  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Agamemnon voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1820 with 179 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/agamemnon/1820
  4. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  5. ^ Generals Who Served in the French Army during the Period 1789-1815. (Retrieved 2015, March 6) Étienne Gérard. Retrieved from http://www.napoleon-series.org/research/c_frenchgenerals.html
  6. ^ Generals Who Served in the French Army during the Period 1789-1815. (Retrieved 2015, March 6) François-Joseph Gérard. Retrieved from http://www.napoleon-series.org/research/c_frenchgenerals.html
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