Giere History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

As we follow the name Giere back through history, we find that the surname is ultimately derived from the Middle English word "geary," meaning "changeable" or "passionate." [1]

Another source notes "This surname is derived from a geographical locality. 'at the gare' , from residence thereby." [2]

And another source states "Gear signifies all sorts of wearing apparel and equipments for horses and men, from the Saxon gearrian, to make ready; and the name was probably given to one who took charge of and superintended the gear. John of the Gear, John O' Gear, and at length John Gear." [3]

Early Origins of the Giere family

The surname Giere was first found in Suffolk, where the earliest record of the name is Albert, Joscelin Gere, who was listed in the "Cartularium monasterii de Rameseia" Rolls between 1133-1160. [1]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had only one listing of the family: Stephen de la Gare, Kent. But the "Placita de Quo Warranto, temp. Edward I-III." had two listings, both 20, Edward I (during the twentieth year of King Edward I's reign): Lucas atte Gare, Kent; and Lucas de la Gare, Kent. [2]

Allen Atte-gar, was vicar of Elmham, Norfolk in 1356. [4]

"There is an estate named Gear in the parish of St. Earth, which Polwhele thinks may have had its name from caer, castrum; and he says Gear Bridge below was originally Caer Bridge. Geare in Cornish signifies 'green or flourishing.' " [5]

Early History of the Giere family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Giere research. Another 78 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1379, 1601, 1602, 1565, 1580, 1603, 1622, 1662, 1622, 1601, 1649 and 1615 are included under the topic Early Giere History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Giere Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Giere have been found, including Gear, Geare, Geear, Geere, Gere and others.

Early Notables of the Giere family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Sir Michael Geare (c. 1565 - ?), captain of the ship "Little John," who was knighted in for his role in the privateer wars in the West Indies with Spain in 1580-1603. Alan Geare (1622-1662), was a nonconformist divine, born at Stoke Fleming, near Dartmouth, Devonshire...
Another 53 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Giere Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Giere family

Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Giere, or a variant listed above: Thomas Geare, who came to Boston in 1635; George Gere, who also arrived Boston in 1635; Wm Gear, who came to Virginia in 1678; Solomon Gear, an 'emigrant in bondage,' who arrived in Boston in 1720.



  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  4. ^ Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. Print
  5. ^ Charnock, Richard, Stephen, Ludus Patronymicus of The Etymology of Curious Surnames. London: Trubner & Co., 60 Paternoster Row, 1868. Print.


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