Show ContentsGerson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

History reveals the roots of the Gerson family name in the ancient Strathclyde people of the Scottish/English Borderlands. It is derived from Grier, a pet form of the given name Gregory, which means watchful. [1] [2]

Early Origins of the Gerson family

The surname Gerson was first found in Dumfriesshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Dhùn Phris), a Southern area, bordering on England that today forms part of the Dumfries and Galloway Council Area, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.

"The Griersons of Lag, Dumfriesshire, claim descent from Gilbert, second son of Malcolm, dominus de MacGregor, who is said to have died in 1374, but, says Col. Fergusson, 'there is no evidence or foundation for the story commonly current that this family was an offshoot of the Highland family of MacGregor.' " [3]

Early History of the Gerson family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gerson research. Another 321 words (23 lines of text) covering the years 1250, 1411, 1411, 1429, 1451, 1232, 1502, 1526, 1557, 1671, 1704, 1547, 1590, 1564, 1657, 1733, 1408, 1608, 1623, 1654, 1655, 1677, 1760, 1709 and 1711 are included under the topic Early Gerson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gerson Spelling Variations

Scribes in Medieval Scotland spelled names by sound rather than any set of rules, so an enormous number of spelling variations exist in names of that era. Gerson has been spelled Grierson, Greson, Greyson, Grayson, Greirson and others.

Early Notables of the Gerson family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was John Grierson or Grisson (died 1564?), a Scottish Dominican who is believed to have been from the family of Grierson of Lag in Dumfriesshire. [4] Sir Robert Grierson of Lag (1657-1733), was 1st Baronet of Baronets of Lag & Rockhall, Dumfriesshire. He was "persecutor of the covenanters, was descended from an old Dumfriesshire family which claimed as an ancestor the highland chief Malcolm, lord of Macgregor, the friend and ally of Robert Bruce. The lands of Lag are said to have been bestowed on Gilbert Grierson by Henry, earl of...
Another 96 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gerson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gerson Ranking

In the United States, the name Gerson is the 16,930th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [5]

Ireland Migration of the Gerson family to Ireland

Some of the Gerson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Gerson migration to the United States +

The number of Strathclyde Clan families sailing for North America increased steadily as the persecution continued. In the colonies, they could find not only freedom from the iron hand of the English government, but land to settle on. The American War of Independence allowed many of these settlers to prove their independence, while some chose to go to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Scots played essential roles in the forging of both great nations. Among them:

Gerson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Nathan Gerson, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1800 [6]
  • Jacob Gerson, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1804 [6]
  • Joseph Gerson, who arrived in Indiana in 1886 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Gerson (post 1700) +

  • Michael John Gerson (1964-2022), American op-ed columnist for The Washington Post, a Policy Fellow with One Campaign, a visiting fellow with the Center for Public Justice, and a former senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, President George W. Bush's chief speechwriter from 2001 until June 2006
  • Daniel Gerson (d. 2016), American BAFTA award winning, three-time Annie Award nominated writer, known for his work on Monsters University (2013), Monsters, Inc. (2001) and Big Hero 6 (2014)
  • Simon W. Gerson, American politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from New York, 1936, 1952 [7]
  • Henry Gerson, American Republican politician, Candidate for New York State Senate 22nd District, 1934 [7]
  • Helen Gerson, American politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from New York 22nd District, 1932; Candidate for New York State Assembly from Bronx County 2nd District, 1933 [7]
  • Eloise Gerson (b. 1957), American Republican politician, Real estate business; Delegate to Republican National Convention from Illinois, 2004 [7]
  • Fredric Gerson Levin (1937-2021), American plaintiffs' lawyer in the state of Florida, Chairman of Levin, Papantonio, Thomas, Mitchell, Rafferty & Proctor, P.A, a law firm in Northwest Florida, he died from COVID-19
  • Julius Gerson Getman (b. 1931), American professor of law at the University of Texas School of Law
  • Elias Gerson Reiger (1892-1931), American Republican politician, Social worker; Candidate for New York State Senate 12th District, 1922 [8]
  • Gerson Victalino (1959-2020), also commonly known simply as Gerson, a Brazilian gold and silver medalist basketball player

The Gerson 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: Hoc securior
Motto Translation: Safer by this.

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  3. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  4. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  5. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  6. 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)
  7. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 9) . Retrieved from
  8. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 3) . Retrieved from on Facebook