Show ContentsGloucester History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Gloucester surname was a habitational name, taken on from the city of Gloucester. This place name was originally "Gle-vum, " which was a cognate of the Welsh "gloyw," meaning "bright." The Old English "ceaster," came from the Roman (Latin) for a fort or walled city.

Early Origins of the Gloucester family

The surname Gloucester was first found in Gloucestershire where the surname is descended from the tenant of the city and lands of Gloucester, held only by the King, who was recorded in the Domesday Book census of 1086. It was from Gloucester that the King commissioned the Domesday Book. The name is probably derived from of the several stewards who held the lands from the King. Durand of Gloucester was such a steward.

Miles de Gloucester, Earl of Hereford (d. 1143), was the son and heir of Walter de Gloucester, hereditary castellan of Gloucester and sheriff of the shire. "Walter's father, Roger 'de Pistres,' had been sheriff before him, but was dead in 1086 (Domesday Book). Walter was in favour with Henry I, three of whose charters to him are extant (Duchy of Lancaster: Royal Charters). He held the post of a royal constable. Early in 1121 his son Miles was given the hand of Sibyl, daughter of Bernard de Neufmarché, the conqueror of Brecknock, with the reversion of her father's possessions (ib.) In the Pipe Roll of 1130 Walter is found to have been succeeded by his son, having died (or retired to Llanthony Abbey, according to its chronicle) in or before 1129 (Rot. Pip. 31 Hen. I). Miles was now (i.e. from 1128 at least) sheriff of Gloucestershire and Staffordshire, a justice itinerant, and a justice of the forest." [1]

Early History of the Gloucester family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gloucester research. Another 92 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 124 and 1242 are included under the topic Early Gloucester History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gloucester Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Gloucester, Gloster, Glouster, Glocester and others.

Early Notables of the Gloucester family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Gloucester Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Gloucester family

Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: Mathew Gloster, who came to Virginia in 1621; John Gloster, who arrived in Virginia in 1635; Joseph Gloster, a bonded passenger, who settled in America in 1753.

Contemporary Notables of the name Gloucester (post 1700) +

  • Stephen Gloucester (1802-1850), American former slave, who was among the primary organizers for the Underground Railroad in Philadelphia
  • Field Marshal Henry William Frederick Albert Gloucester (1900-1974), British Governor-General of Australia (1945) [2]

  1. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, October 5) Henry Gloucester. Retrieved from on Facebook