Show ContentsGernon History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The history of the name Gernon goes back 1066 when the Norman Conquest of England occurred. Soon after this event, the name would have been 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 Gernon family

The surname Gernon 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." [1] 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." [1]

Early History of the Gernon family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gernon research. Another 163 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1170 and 1273 are included under the topic Early Gernon History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gernon Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Gernon has been recorded under many different variations, including Garnon, Garnons, Gernan, Gernon, Gernen, Garnham and many more.

Early Notables of the Gernon family

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was

  • Robert de Gernon, who accompanied William the Conqueror

Ireland Migration of the Gernon family to Ireland

Some of the Gernon 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.

United States Gernon migration to the United States +

To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Gernons were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America:

Gernon Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Richard Gernon to Philadelphia in 1797

Contemporary Notables of the name Gernon (post 1700) +

  • Robert Lawrence Gernon (1943-2005), American jurist
  • Billy Gernon, American head coach of the Western Michigan Broncos baseball team
  • Frederick Anthony John "Irvin" Gernon (b. 1962), English former footballer, member of the England U21 National Team in 1983
  • Thomas Gernon (b. 1983), Irish academic

The Gernon 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.

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print. on Facebook