Gernen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Gernen was formed many centuries ago by the early Norman settlers that followed the 1066 Conquest of the island. It was a name typically given to a person who had a moustache. The name was originally derived from Old English words gernon or grenon, which meant moustache.
Early Origins of the Gernen family
The surname Gernen was first found in Montfiquet, in the district of Bayeux. Robert de Guernon accompanied the William the Conqueror at Hastings in 1066 A.D. Robert held estates in Herefordshire, Suffolk, and a great barony in Essex. Another early notable of the family was Ranulf II (also known as Ranulf de Gernon) (1099-1153), a Norman-born, potentate who inherited the honour of the palatine county of Chester. He claimed descent from the Counts of Bessin in Normandy.
Thoydon-Garnon in Essex was and ancient homestead of the family. "The parish takes the adjunct to its name from the family of Gernon, who were anciently its proprietors."  Great and Little Birch in Essex was an ancient family seat. "Birch Castle was fortified against Henry III. by Sir Ralph Gernon, then lord of the manor: there are still some remains." 
Early History of the Gernen family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gernen research. Another 163 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1273 and 1170 are included under the topic Early Gernen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Gernen Spelling Variations
Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Gernen have been found, including Garnon, Garnons, Gernan, Gernon, Gernen, Garnham and many more.
Early Notables of the Gernen family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Gernen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Gernen family to Ireland
Some of the Gernen family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 53 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Gernen family
For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. 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 Gernen were among those contributors: Roger Garnons, who sailed to America in 1658; Judith Garnon to America in 1763; William Garnons to America in 1770; and Richard Gernon to Philadelphia in 1797..
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The Gernen 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: Nid cyfoeth
Motto Translation: Not wealth, but contentment.(Welsh.
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.