Show ContentsGervase History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Gervase family migrated to England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The surname Gervase is based on the Norman personal name Gervase. The surname Gervais indicates that the bearer is a descendant of someone named Gervase. [1]

Gervase of Canterbury (Gervasius Dorobornensis) (fl. 1188), was an English "chronicler, was born, apparently of a Kentish family, about 1141. As he had a brother Thomas in his monastery, who is conjectured to be identical with one Thomas of Maidstone, we have a possible clue to his birthplace; but the information is too imperfect to warrant more than an hypothesis. Gervase became a monk of Christ Church, Canterbury, on the first Saturday in Lent, 16 Feb. 1163." [2]

Gervase of Chichester (fl. 1170), was an English commentator, one of the band of learned young men who gathered round Thomas, Archbishop of Canterbury and Gervase of Tilbury (fl. 1211), was author of the ‘Otia Imperialia,’ was no doubt a native of Tilbury in Essex, though he appears to have been brought up in Rome, and to have spent some years of his early life in Italy. [2]

Early Origins of the Gervase family

The surname Gervase was first found in Cornwall. The Gervais surname also spelled Jarvis, Gervays and Gervis, was first found in Mobonnaiss and Vallee, in Brettagne, the ancient name for Brittany, and arrived in England with William, Duke of Normandy, in 1066. [3]

The first records of the family were listed in their Latin form, as in John filius Gervacii, Cambridgeshire; William filius Gervasii, Huntingdonshire; and Stephen Gervcis, Cambridgeshire. All were listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. [4]

Early History of the Gervase family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gervase research. Another 176 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1379, 1268, 1262, 1262, 1268, 1410, 1393, 1397, 1587, 1654, 1621, 1625, 1628, 1629, 1640, 1653, 1616, 1693, 1666, 1667, 1675, 1739, 1675, 1799 and 1804 are included under the topic Early Gervase History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gervase Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Gervase include Gervais, Gervays, Gervis, Jarvis, Jervis and others.

Early Notables of the Gervase family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Gervais, (died 1268), an early English clergyman, Bishop of Carlisle in 1262 and Bishop of Winchester (1262-1268); Richard Gervays (died c.1410), of Canterbury, Kent, an English politician, a Member of...
Another 38 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gervase Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Gervase family to Ireland

Some of the Gervase family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 229 words (16 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Gervase migration to the United States +

In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Gervases to arrive on North American shores:

Gervase Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Gervase, who left England and arrived in Maryland in 1634 aboard the ship "Ark and Dove" [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Gervase (post 1700) +

  • Mr. Gervase Rippon, British sheriff, held the joint position of Sheriff of Nottingham, England from 1663 to 1664
  • Mr. Gervase Wyld*, British sheriff, held the joint position of Sheriff of Nottingham, England from 1669 to 1670
  • Gervase Alan de Peyer (1926-2017), English clarinetist and conductor, born in London
  • Gervase Parker Bushe (1744-1793), Irish landowner and politician, Member of Parliament for Granard (1767-1776), High Sheriff of County Kilkenny (1767-1776), Member of Parliament for Kilkenny City (1778-1783)
  • Gervase Duan "G.D." Spradlin (1920-2011), American actor credited with over 70 television and film productions
  • Mr. Gervase Pilkinton, British sheriff, held the joint position of Sheriff of Nottingham, England from 1712 to 1713
  • Gervase A. Hephner (b. 1936), American Democratic Party politician, Member of Wisconsin State Assembly, 1967-86 [6]

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  4. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. Pilgrim Ship's of 1600's. Retrieved January 6th 2023 from
  6. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 7) . Retrieved from on Facebook