Gernet History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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Gernet is one of the many new names that came to England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Gernet is for a person who grew or sold pomegranates. This metonymic name, which is a type of name that refers to the principal object associated with the activity of the original bearer, is derived from the old French words pome, which meant fruit or apple, and grenate, which meant full of seeds. The name of the precious stone is derived from the same source. The name Gernet is also a metonymic occupational name for a maker or fitter of hinges, derived from the Old French word carne, which means hinge. The name Gernet was brought to England after the Norman Conquest of 1066 and it spread into the county of Lancashire.
Early Origins of the Gernet family
The surname Gernet was first found in Lancashire at Leck, a township and chapelry, in the parish of Tunstall, union of Lancaster, hundred of Lonsdale south of the Sands. "This township belonged to the Gernets, of Halton, in the reign of John." 
"According to Domesday Book, Skelmersdale, [Lancashire] was in 1066 held by Uctred, who also held Dalton and Uplitherland; like these it was assessed as one ploughland, and was worth the normal 32d. beyond the usual rent. Later it was part of the forest fee, held by the Gernet family. The first of them known to have held it, Vivian Gernet, gave Skelmersdale and other manors to Robert Travers; these were held in 1212 by Henry Travers under Roger Gernet." 
Early History of the Gernet family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gernet research. Another 67 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1555, 1606, 1605, 1575 and 1608 are included under the topic Early Gernet History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Gernet Spelling Variations
Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Garnett, Garnet, Garnette, Gernet, Gernett and others.
Early Notables of the Gernet family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Roger Gernett of Lancashire; Henry Garnet (1555-1606), sometimes Henry Garnett, an English Jesuit priest executed for his complicity in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. He was born at Heanor, Derbyshire, the son of Brian Garnett and his wife, Alice Jay. "Father John Gerard states that his parents were well esteemed, and well able to maintain their family...
Another 66 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gernet Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Gernet family
To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Gernet or a variant listed above: James Garnet who settled in Maryland in 1685; Elizabeth Garnet settled in Virginia in 1623; Judith Garnett settled in Massachusetts in 1634; Susan and Thomas Garnett settled in Virginia in 1623.
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- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ 'Townships: Scarisbrick', in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, ed. William Farrer and J Brownbill (London, 1907), pp. 265-276. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/lancs/vol3/pp265-276 [accessed 21 January 2017].