Girton History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Girton is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Girton family lived in "the Seigneurie of Gurdon near Cahors, on the border of Perigord: a Gothic race, very early seated in Hampshire. Adam de Gurdon 'the Kings Servant,' received from Coeur de Lion half a knight's fee in Selborne and Ostede, and a grant of the lordship of Tisted from his successor. Henry III gave by charter 'free chase of hares and foxes in and without the forest,' to another Adam de Gurdon. " 
Early Origins of the Girton family
The surname Girton was first found in Gourdon, an arrondissement of France before the Norman Conquest. 
"The Seigneurie of Gourdon near Cahors, on the borders of Perigord, was the patrimony of this Norman adventurer. His descendant, Sir Adam de Gurdon, Knt., living temp. Henry III., was in that monarch's reign Bailiff of Alton: but joining the Mountford faction, he suffered outlawry, which was not removed until the following reign, when Sir Adam received the custody of the forest of Wolmer. From this celebrated knight, whose lands at Selborne, Hants, known still as Gurdon manor, belong to Magdalen College, Oxford, sprang the Gurdons of Assington co. Suffolk, and the Gurdons of Letton, co. Norfolk. " 
William de Gourdon 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 (d. 1305.) " 
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. 
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." 
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.
Sir Adam de Gurdon or Gordon (d. 1305), was an early English warrior, "son of Adam de Gurdon, one of the bailiffs of Alton in Hampshire. He sided with de Montfort in the barons' war; but on 28 July 1265 repulsed the Welsh who were plundering in Somerset, at Dunster. He was one of the disinherited in 1266, and with others of his party formed a band which ravaged Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, and Hampshire. Edward marched against them in person, and meeting them in Alton wood (or perhaps at Halton in Buckinghamshire) defeated Gurdon in single combat. Gurdon's prowess won the admiration of his conqueror, who restored him to his estates and made him one of his most trusted supporters. Gurdon was a justice of the forest in 1280. His estate of Gurdon still bears his name and is now the property of Magdalen College, Oxford." 
"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." 
The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list: Bartholomew Gurdon in Norfolk; Thomas Gurdon in Oxfordshire; and Roger Gurdon in Cambridgeshire. 
Early History of the Girton family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Girton research. Another 79 words (6 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 Girton History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Girton Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Gurdon, Girdon, Gurton, Girton, Gerdon, Girtin, Gretton, Gritten and many more.
Early Notables of the Girton family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Gurdon (c. 1544-1623), an English landowner and politician who sat in the House of Commons in 1571; Brampton Gurdon (died 1649), an English country gentleman and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1621 to...
Another 45 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Girton Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
In the United States, the name Girton is the 18,688th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. 
Migration of the Girton family
For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Girton or a variant listed above were: the name represented in many forms and recorded from the mid 17th century in the great migration from Europe. Migrants settled in the eastern seaboard from Newfoundland, to Maine, to Virginia, the Carolinas, and to the islands..
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