Gunner History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Gunner family

The surname Gunner 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 Gunner family

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

Gunner Spelling Variations

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

Early Notables of the Gunner family (pre 1700)

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


United States Gunner migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Gunner Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Gunner, who settled in Virginia in 1642
  • Tho Gunner, who landed in Virginia in 1642 [2]
Gunner Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Dennis Gunner, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816 [2]
  • John H Gunner, who arrived in Arkansas in 1891 [2]

Australia Gunner migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Gunner Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Charles Gunner, aged 21, a carpenter, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Violet"

Contemporary Notables of the name Gunner (post 1700) +

  • Brigadier-General Matthew John Gunner (1886-1985), American Assistant Chief of Staff Supreme Commander Allied Powers Japan (1945-1946) [3]


  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, October 11) Matthew Gunner. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Gunner/Matthew_John/USA.html


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