Girrard History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The earliest origins of the name Girrard date back to the time of the Anglo-Saxons. The name is derived from the son of Gerard. The surname Girrard was originally derived from the Old German Gerhard which meant spear-brave. 
Early Origins of the Girrard family
The surname Girrard was first found in the Domesday Book of 1086 where the Latin form Gerardus and Girardus were listed.  The Latin form prevailed into the next century when Gerardus was listed in Norfolk in 1134-1140, and in 1149-1162 in Lincolnshire. 
Other early records include: John, Hugo Gerard in the Pipe Rolls for Northumberland in 1199; William Gerart in the Assize Rolls for Staffordshire in 1281; Henry Jerard in the Feet of Fines for Essex in 1284; John Gerrard, Thomas Garard, and William Garrarde in Yorkshire in 1412, 1429 and 1458. 
Gerard (died 21 May 1108), "Archbishop of York, was the nephew of Walkelin, bishop of Winchester, and his brother Simeon, abbot of Ely, and therefore, possibly, a distant kinsman of the Conqueror. He was precentor of the cathedral of Rouen, and afterwards a clerk of William Rufus's chapel and chancery. William dispatched him in 1095, in company with William of Warelwast, afterwards bishop of Exeter, to the papal court on a secret and delicate mission in connection with the dispute between the king and Anselm. The alleged object of their embassage was to investigate the claims of the two rival popes." 
He 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." 
"Gerrard or Gerard is a very old Lancashire name. The Gerards of Bryn were lords of the manor of Brindle from the 14th to the 16th century: this distinguished family stands amongst the foremost of the Lancashire families, both in early and in more recent times, and received a baronetcy from James I." 
"The Gerrards were an ancient and titled Cheshire family. The Lords Gerard of Gerards Bromley from the 16th to the 18th century were descended from the Gerards of Ince in Lancashire; the Gerards of Kingsley and Crewood came from Hawarden in Flintshire in the time of Edward I. " 
Early History of the Girrard family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Girrard 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 Girrard History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Girrard Spelling Variations
Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Girrard include Gerrard, Gerard, Jarrard, Jared, Garrad, Garred, Jarratt, Jarrett and many more.
Early Notables of the Girrard 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 Girrard Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Girrard family
Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Girrard or a variant listed above: 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.
Related Stories +
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.