Show ContentsGervis History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Gervis arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Gervis comes from 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 Gervis family

The surname Gervis 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 Gervis family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gervis 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 Gervis History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gervis Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Gervais, Gervays, Gervis, Jarvis, Jervis and others.

Early Notables of the Gervis 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 Gervis Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Gervis family to Ireland

Some of the Gervis 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 Gervis migration to the United States +

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Gervis or a variant listed above:

Gervis Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Humphry Gervis, who arrived in Maryland in 1677 [5]
Gervis Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • H. Gervis, aged 25, who immigrated to the United States, in 1895
Gervis Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Johanna Gervis, aged 38, who landed in America, in 1901
  • Emilie Gervis, aged 11, who immigrated to the United States, in 1901
  • Emilie Gervis, aged 36, who settled in America, in 1901
  • Willy Vigge Gervis, aged 18, who landed in America, in 1921
  • Juliet Gervis, aged 22, who immigrated to America from London, England, in 1924

Australia Gervis migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Gervis Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Gervis, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Fairfield" in 1840 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Gervis (post 1700) +

  • Sir George Christopher Cadafael Tapps- Gervis -Meyrick (b. 1941), 7th Baronet
  • Sir George David Eliott Tapps- Gervis -Meyrick (1915-1988), 6th Baronet
  • Sir George Llewelyn Tapps- Gervis -Meyrick (1885-1960), 5th Baronet
  • Sir George Augustus Eliott Tapps- Gervis -Meyrick (1855-1928), 4th Baronet
  • Sir George William Tapps- Gervis (1795-1842), 2nd Baronet, a British politician and land developer

  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. 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)
  6. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) FAIRFIELD 1840. Retrieved from on Facebook