Gervays History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Gervays is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. Gervays is a name that comes from the Norman personal name Gervase. The surname Gervais indicates that the bearer is a descendant of someone named Gervase. 
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." 
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. 
Early Origins of the Gervays family
The surname Gervays 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. 
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. 
Early History of the Gervays family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gervays 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 Gervays History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Gervays Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Gervais, Gervays, Gervis, Jarvis, Jervis and others.
Early Notables of the Gervays 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 Gervays Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Gervays family to Ireland
Some of the Gervays 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.
Migration of the Gervays family
Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Gervays name or one of its variants: John Jarvis who landed in Salem Massachusetts in 1630 and Thomas Gervais who settled in Maryland in 1634; Robert Jervis settled in Virginia in 1660; Richard Jervis settled in Maryland in 1720.
- Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- 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)
- Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)