Gourdon History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The history of the Gourdon family begins in the Boernician tribes of ancient Scotland. The Gourdon family lived on the lands of Gordon, in the former county of Berwickshire, since ancient times. There is little doubt that bearers of Gourdon came to Britiain with the Normans, and it is generally thought that they descend from the place named "Gourdon" in Saone-et-Loire, Normandy, but the oldest roots of the bearers of Gourdon in Scotland may lie with the Boernician tribe of ancient Scotland. It is entirely possible that the Gourdon surname was created from a pre-existing place name Gordon. It has been suggested that this place-name was originally derived from the Welsh (ancient Brithonic) words, gor and din, which mean "spacious" and "fort," and such, Gourdon would be a type hereditary surname, known as a habitation name: one that is derived from a pre-exiting name for a town, village, parish, or farmstead.

Early Origins of the Gourdon family

The surname Gourdon was first found in Berwickshire an ancient county of Scotland, presently part of the Scottish Borders Council Area, located in the eastern part of the Borders Region of Scotland, where legend has it that they were granted lands by King Malcolm Ceanmore, successor to MacBeth, in 1057, thus placing bearers of the name in lowland Scotland, before the invasion of the Normans.

"The earliest known home of the Scots family was in Berwickshire, and here we find a place name Gordon, from which the surname may have been derived. There was also a distinguished family named Gurdon in Hampshire, England, with whom it has been suggested they were connected. It has been further suggested that the Gordons were cadets of the Swintons as the coats of arms borne by the two families are the same. " [1]

"According to some genealogists this name is derived from Gordonia, a town in Macedonia; according to others from a manor in Normandy-origins literally too "far-fetched," since the parish of Gordon, in Berwickshire, where we find the family located at an early date, is its true source. " [2]

"There is a nice little romance to the tune of making the founder of the family a certain Bertrand de Gourdon, who shot Richard the Lion-Hearted at Chaluz. According to history, this Gourdon was a common archer, who having been brought before the dying monarch was forgiven by him, and ordered to be liberated with a handsome present; but the Flemish general, who had no notion of such generosity, very coolly ordered him to be flayed alive. How, after such an operation, he could get into Scotland we are not told." [2]

The first Gordon on record was Richer de Gordum, lord of the Barony of Gordon in the Merse, who granted a piece of land and the church of St. Michael between the years 1150-1180, to the monks of Kelso. [1]

Adam Gordon acquired by Royal grant the lands of Coldstream on the River Tweed and his successors held these lands for many centuries.

Early History of the Gourdon family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gourdon research. Another 203 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1280, 1449, 1594, 1619, 1761, 1402, 1470, 1439, 1501, 1498, 1501, 1514, 1562, 1546, 1610, 1644, 1609, 1679, 1637, 1720, 1632, 1665, 1635, 1697, 1651, 1652, 1652 and are included under the topic Early Gourdon History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gourdon Spelling Variations

Before the first dictionaries and printing presses went into use in the last few hundred years, spelling, particularly of names, was a largely intuitive matter. Consequently, many spelling variations occur in even the simplest names from the Middle Ages. Gourdon has been spelled Gordon, Gordun, Gôrdon (Gaelic) and others.

Early Notables of the Gourdon family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family name during their early history was Sir Adam de Gordon, Lord of Gordon (died 1402), 14th-century Scottish baron; Alexander Seton, 1st Earl of Huntly (died 1470) when he succeeded his father as Lord Gordon he began using his mother's family name of Gordon, was knighted in 1439 and was Lord of Badenoch, Gordon, Strathbogie & Cluny and his son George Gordon, 2nd Earl of Huntly (died 1501) was a Scottish nobleman and Chancellor of Scotland from 1498-1501; George Gordon, 4th Earl of Huntly (1514-1562), Scottish nobleman, Lord High Chancellor in 1546 who led a revolt against Mary...
Another 129 words (9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gourdon Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gourdon Ranking

In France, the name Gourdon is the 1,091st most popular surname with an estimated 4,952 people with that name. [3]

Ireland Migration of the Gourdon family to Ireland

Some of the Gourdon family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 77 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Gourdon migration to the United States +

The east coasts of the United States and Canada are still populated by many of the descendents of the Boernician-Scottish families who made that great crossing. They distributed themselves evenly when they first arrived, but at the time of the War of Independence those who remained loyal to England went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. This century, many of their ancestors have recovered their past heritage through highland games and other Scottish functions in North America. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Investigation of the origins of family names on the North American continent has revealed that many immigrants bearing the name Gourdon or a variant listed above:

Gourdon Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • George Gourdon, who landed in Virginia in 1654 [4]
  • Alexander Gourdon, who arrived in Maryland in 1658 [4]
  • John Gourdon, who arrived in Maryland in 1695 [4]

Canada Gourdon migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Gourdon Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century
  • Pierre Gourdon, aged 35, who landed in Canada in 1657
  • Mr. François Gourdon, French settler travelling to Canada to work for Antoine Grignon, Pierre Gaigneur, and Jacques Massé, arriving on 19th March 1657 [5]
Gourdon Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Louis Gourdon, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1757
  • Margereta Gourdon, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1757

West Indies Gourdon migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [6]
Gourdon Settlers in West Indies in the 18th Century
  • William Gourdon, who arrived in Barbados in 1700-1701 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Gourdon (post 1700) +

  • Alain "Aslan" Gourdon (1930-2014), French painter, sculptor and pin-up artist


The Gourdon Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Bydand
Motto Translation: Remaining.


  1. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  2. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ http://www.journaldesfemmes.com/nom-de-famille/nom/
  4. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  5. ^ Debien, Gabriel. Liste Des Engagés Pour Le Canada Au XVIIe Siècle. Vol. 6, Laval University, 1952. (Retreived 24th May 2018). Retrieved from https://lebloguedeguyperron.wordpress.com/2016/06/30/130-liste-des-contrats-dengagement-pour-la-nouvelle-france-releves-a-la-rochelle-entre-1634-et-1679/
  6. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies


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