Gunnar History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Gunnar family

The surname Gunnar was first found in Lincolnshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book, [1] indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, Gunner or Gonnor was a common Norman Christian name. However, it is a female name. Gonnor, wife of Gilbert Crispin, Gonnor wife of Richard 1st of Normandy, Gunnora mother of William de Briouse. The many references in the Domesday Book to a variation in spelling of the Norman Gunner include Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, Northumberland, Somerset, Suffolk and Berkshire. Most of them likely refer to the wife of a Norman noble who held as an under-tenant pending the arrival of a male heir. The name has no relationship to a person who handled guns.

Early History of the Gunnar family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gunnar research. Another 75 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 128 and 1285 are included under the topic Early Gunnar History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gunnar Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Gunner, Gunnor, Gunnar, Gonner, Gunne, Gunnora and others.

Early Notables of the Gunnar family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Gunnar family

Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: Thomas Gunner settled in Virginia in 1642.

Contemporary Notables of the name Gunnar (post 1700) +

  • Peter M. Gunnar, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Oregon, 1960 [2]
  • Frans Gunnar Bengtsson (1894-1954), Swedish novelist, essayist, poet and biographer
  • Karl Gunnar Persson (1943-2016), Scandinavian economic historian
  • Olle Gunnar Westling (b. 1945), Swedish socionom (social worker), former municipal civil servant and the father of Prince Daniel, Duke of Västergötland
  • Nils Gunnar Hult (b. 1939), Swedish former footballer
  • Gary Gunnar Bergman (1938-2000), Canadian professional NHL ice hockey defenceman
  • Dr. Gunnar Sorbo (b. 1948), current director of the Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI)
  • Karl Gunnar Myrdal (1898-1987), Swedish economist
  • Lars Gunnar Bodin (b. 1935), Swedish pioneer in the field of electronic music
  • Bengt Gunnar Ekelöf (1907-1968), Swedish poet

  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, February 1) . Retrieved from on Facebook
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