Gommershal History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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Gommershal is one of the thousands of new names that the Norman Conquest brought to England in 1066. The Gommershal family lived in the place called Gomersal in Western Yorkshire, which derived its name from the Old English personal name Gudmoer and the Old English word halh.
The name Gudmoer was composed of the elements gud, which means battle, and moer, which means fame. The word halh means nook or recess.  This name was therefore formed under the Old English naming system, which gradually dissolved after the Norman Conquest. At this time, Old English names became less common and were replaced by popular continental European names. The surnames in England that were found shortly after the Norman Conquest were usually of Norman French rather than native English origins.
Early Origins of the Gommershal family
The surname Gommershal was first found in Yorkshire in the West Riding where they held a family seat at Gomershale,  later to become known as Gomersal. A knight's fee granted by William the Conqueror to Gilbert de Lacy was the first record of the place name from whom conjecturally the Gomersalls were descended. The grant of lands also included a mill and a manor at that time.
Today Gomersal is a village in the metropolitan county of West Yorkshire and not that long ago was originally known as Great Gomersal and Little Gomersal.
Early History of the Gommershal family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gommershal research. Another 24 words (2 lines of text) covering the years 1602, 1646, 1602, 1616 and 1628 are included under the topic Early Gommershal History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Gommershal Spelling Variations
It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Gommershal are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Gommershal include Gomersal, Gomersall, Gommersal, Gommersall, Gomershall and many more.
Early Notables of the Gommershal family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Roberts Gomersall (1602-1646?), English dramatist and divine, born in London in 1602. He matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford, 19 April 1616. "Having taken holy orders he ‘became a very florid preacher in the university’ (Wood). In...
Another 44 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gommershal Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Gommershal family
Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Gommershal, or a variant listed above: William Gomersall arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1856.
Related Stories +
- ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)