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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, Scottish


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The surname Girdler was first found in Gourdon, an arrondissement of France before the Norman Conquest. One of the first records there was William de Gourdon who founded Gourdon Abbey in 1240. After the Conquest, "Aimeric de Gourdon, 13th century was a benefactor to the church, and had grants from King John in England. In 1231 Henry III. granted to Ralph Mareschal part of the estate of Sir Adam de Gourdon. " [1] While we could find no villages named Gourdon in Britain, one may presume that Girton in Cambridgeshire and Nottinghamshire would be the likely related villages. Girton Cambridgeshire dates back to c. 1060 when it was listed as Grittone and a few years later is listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Gretone. [2] Girton, Nottinghamshire similarly dates back to the Domesday Book with the same spelling. Both literally mean "farmstead or village on gravelly ground," from the Old English words "greot" + "tun." [3] Girton College of the University of Cambridge derives its name from the nearby village. One branch of the family held a family seat at Assington in Suffolk since early times. "Assington Hall was purchased by Robert Gurdon, in the reign of Henry VIII., from Sir Piers Corbet, and has ever since been the residence of that family." [4] The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list: Bartholomew Gurdon in Norfolk; Thomas Gurdon in Oxfordshire; and Roger Gurdon in Cambridgeshire. [5]

Before the last few hundred years the English language had no fixed system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations occurred commonly in Anglo Norman surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Girdler were recorded, including Gurdon, Girdon, Gurton, Girton, Gerdon, Girtin, Gretton, Gritten and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Girdler research. Another 157 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1455, 1487, 1544, 1623, 1571, 1649, 1621, 1622, 1595, 1679, 1640, 1660, 1606 and 1669 are included under the topic Early Girdler History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 165 words (12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Girdler Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The unstable environment in England at this time caused numerous families to board ships and leave in search of opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad in places like Ireland, Australia, and particularly the New World. The voyage was extremely difficult, however, and only taken at great expense. The cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels caused many to arrive diseased and starving, not to mention destitute from the enormous cost. Still opportunity in the emerging nations of Canada and the United States was far greater than at home and many went on to make important contributions to the cultures of their adopted countries. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Girdler arrived in North America very early:

Girdler Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Mary Girdler, who arrived in Maryland in 1665

Girdler Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Mary Girdler, aged 20, who emigrated to the United States, in 1894

Girdler Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Jesse Girdler, aged 31, who settled in America from Godstone, England, in 1907
  • Ethel Girdler, aged 20, who emigrated to the United States from Southampton, England, in 1910
  • Lucy Ann Girdler, aged 49, who landed in America from Aldershot, England, in 1919

Girdler Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century


  • Herbert Girdler, aged 24, who emigrated to Asquith, Canada, in 1910
  • Charles William Girdler, aged 38, who emigrated to Toronto, Canada, in 1920

Girdler Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • William Girdler, aged 47, arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Marshall Bennett"
  • William Girdler (aged 26), a shoemaker, arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Aliquis"

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  • William Girdler (1947-1978), American filmmaker
  • Ryan Girdler (b. 1972), Australian retired rugby league player


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  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  4. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  5. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)

Other References

  1. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  2. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  4. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  5. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  6. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  8. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  9. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  10. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Girdler Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Girdler Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 9 March 2016 at 15:52.

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