Gireard History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Gireard comes from the son of Gerard. The surname Gireard was originally derived from the Old German Gerhard which meant spear-brave. In Old English, patronyms were formed by adding a variety of suffixes to personal names, which changed over time and from place to place. For example, after the Norman Conquest, sunu and sune, which meant son, were the most common patronymic suffixes. In the 12th and 13th centuries, the most common patronymic names included the word filius, which meant son. By the 14th century, the suffix son had replaced these earlier versions. Surnames that were formed with filius or son were more common in the north of England and it was here that the number of individuals without surnames was greatest at this time.

Early Origins of the Gireard family

The surname Gireard was first found in Lancashire where they held a family seat from very ancient times. The Gerrard family name, also spelled Gerard and Jarrard, is traced by historians to the grandson of Edward the Confessor (1004-1066). In England the name was first recorded in the Domesday Book in 1086. Gerard (died 21 May 1108), was Lord Chancellor of England (1085-1092) appointed by William I, and later Archbishop of York (1100-1108.) He may have been with the king's hunting party when William II was killed, as he witnessed the first charter issued by the new king, Henry I of England, a few days later. Windle with Hardshaw in Lancashire was home to the family in later years. "In the reign of Edward III., the manor was held under William Boteler by Peter de Burnhull, with whose heiress the Gerards acquired the property; and this latter family are the present lords. Windle Hall belongs to Sir John Gerard, Bart., at whose annual court lor the manor of Windle, officers are chosen for the township." [1]

Important Dates for the Gireard family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gireard research. Another 127 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1177, 1545, 1611, 1593, 1559, 1581, 1564, 1618, 1622, 1613, 1640, 1634, 1667, 1587, 1670, 1617, 1680, 1641, 1660, 1618, 1683, 1660, 1687, 1661, 1685, 1659, 1701, 1689 and 1694 are included under the topic Early Gireard History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gireard Spelling Variations

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Gireard has appeared include Gerrard, Gerard, Jarrard, Jared, Garrad, Garred, Jarratt, Jarrett and many more.

Early Notables of the Gireard family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include John Gerard (Gerarde) (1545-1611), an English botanist and herbalist, who maintained a large herbal garden in London, eponym of the botanical genus Gerardia; Sir Gilbert Gerard (died 1593), a prominent lawyer, politician, and landowner who served six times as a member of the English parliament, Attorney-General (1559) Master of the Rolls (1581); Sir Thomas Gerard, 1st Baron Gerard (ca. 1564-1618); Gilbert Gerard, 2nd Baron Gerard (d. 1622); Dutton Gerard, 3rd Baron Gerard (1613-1640); Charles Gerard, 4th Baron Gerard (1634-1667); Sir Gilbert Gerard, 1st Baronet of Harrow on...
Another 95 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gireard Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Gireard family

At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Gireard arrived in North America very early: Richard Gerrard, who landed in Maryland in 1634; Gilbert Gerrard, who settled in Virginia in 1643; Elizabeth Gerrard, who came to Maryland in 1650; Susan Gerrard, who arrived in Barbados in 1686.

Citations

  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
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