Gerrits History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

Although the Gerrits surname came to Britain with the Normans, it derives from the Germanic personal names Gerard, or Gerald, composed of the elements "gar," or "ger," meaning "spear," "hard," meaning "brave," or "strong," and "wald," meaning "rule." The Anglo-Norman surname Gerrits in Ireland was often Mac Gerailt, and was used as a synonym of Fitzgerald.

Early Origins of the Gerrits family

The surname Gerrits was first found in County Carlow (Irish: Cheatharlach) a small landlocked area located in the province of Leinster in the South East of Ireland, where some of the name may have come from Anglicized versions of MacOrcachta, believed to be descended from Cathal, brother of Teige Mor, of the powerful O'Connors of Connacht. However, it is thought that the majority of this name in Ireland are of English (Norman) stock.

Important Dates for the Gerrits family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gerrits research. Another 27 words (2 lines of text) covering the year 1598 is included under the topic Early Gerrits History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gerrits Spelling Variations

In the days before Gaelic or English gained any significant semblance of standardization, the scribes who created documents simply recorded names as they sounded. Consequently, in the Middle Ages many people were recorded under different spellings each time their name was written down. Research on the Gerrits family name revealed numerous spelling variations, including Garrett, Garratt, MacGarrett, McGarraty, Garret, Garrat, Garet, Garitt, Garatt and many more.

Early Notables of the Gerrits family (pre 1700)

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

Gerrits migration to the United States

Many Irish families left the English-controlled Ireland in the 19th century. Early immigrants were primarily after land and the opportunity of living a life entirely of their own fashioning. In the 1840s, this pattern of immigration changed as the Great Potato Famine struck Ireland. Hundreds of thousands left the diseased and starving island with little expectations but many hopes. By this time there was very little available land in the east, so many immigrants joined the movement for the western frontier lands, or settled in established urban centers. Irish immigrants not only made enormous contributions to the rapid development and population of North America, but they also brought with them a rich cultural heritage. Immigration and passenger ship lists show some important early immigrants bearing the name Gerrits:

Gerrits Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Weyntie Gerrits, aged 43, who arrived in New York in 1633 [1]
  • Lubbert Gerrits, who landed in New Netherland(s) in 1649 [1]
  • Jacob Gerrits, who arrived in New Netherland(s) in 1651 [1]
  • Jannetje Gerrits, who arrived in New Netherland(s) in 1652 [1]
  • Jan Gerrits, who landed in New Netherland(s) in 1653 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Gerrits Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Hendrikus Gerrits, aged 7, who landed in New York, NY in 1847 [1]
  • Bernardus Gerrits, aged 1, who landed in New York, NY in 1847 [1]
  • W Gerrits, aged 40, who landed in New York, NY in 1847 [1]
  • Willemina Gerrits, aged 31, who landed in New York, NY in 1847 [1]

Contemporary Notables of the name Gerrits (post 1700)

  • Antonie Gerrits (1885-1969), Dutch cyclist at the 1908 Summer Olympics
  • Travis Gerrits (b. 1991), Canadian silver medalist freestyle skier at the 2013 World Championships

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Citations

  1. ^ 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)
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