Gernar History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Gernar is tied to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of England. It comes from the baptismal name Garnier. [1] Baptismal names began to appear as surnames relatively late in the growth of the naming tradition. Alternatively, the name could have been derived from the Old French word "gerner," or "gernier" which means a "storehouse for corn" or "keeper of the granary." [2] [3]

However, we should point out to the reader that Bardsley disagrees with this latter in his reference: "It has nothing to do with a granary, as suggested by Lower." He claims that the name could have also been originally an occupational name as in "the gardener," which was corrupted to Gardner and later Garner. [1]

Early Origins of the Gernar family

The surname Gernar was first found in Rutland where the first record was found in the original Latin form, Garnerius de Nugent who was listed there 1170-1183. Later Geoffre Gerner was listed in the Feet of Fines of Essex in 1272 and Willam del Gerner was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Lancashire in 1332. [2]

Warner or Garnier (fl. 1106), was an early writer of homilies and a monk of Westminster. He was present at the translation of the relics of St. Withburga, 1106. [4]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 has only one listing of the family, Stephen Gemer who was listed as being in Lincolnshire at that time. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 lists Johannes Garner. The Lancashire Wills at Richmond list: Christopher Gardiner, or Garner in 1584; John Gardiner, or Garner, of Aldingham in the same year; and Christopher Garner, of Much Urswicke in 1575. [1]

Early History of the Gernar family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gernar research. Another 71 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1170 and 1280 are included under the topic Early Gernar History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gernar Spelling Variations

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Gernar has undergone many spelling variations, including Garner, Garnier, Gerner and others.

Early Notables of the Gernar family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Gernar family

To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. 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 Gernar were among those contributors: John Garner who settled in Virginia in 1637; with his wife Mary; Miller Garner settled in Barbados in 1679; Nicholas and Richard Garner settled in Virginia in 1637.



  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  4. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print


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