Gurdon History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Gurdon is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Gurdon family lived in "the Seigneurie of Gurdon near Cahors, on the border of Perigord: a Gothic race, very early seated in Hampshire. Adam de Gurdon 'the Kings Servant,' received from Coeur de Lion half a knight's fee in Selborne and Ostede, and a grant of the lordship of Tisted from his successor. Henry III gave by charter 'free chase of hares and foxes in and without the forest,' to another Adam de Gurdon. " 
Early Origins of the Gurdon family
The surname Gurdon was first found in Gourdon, an arrondissement of France before the Norman Conquest. 
"The Seigneurie of Gourdon near Cahors, on the borders of Perigord, was the patrimony of this Norman adventurer. His descendant, Sir Adam de Gurdon, Knt., living temp. Henry III., was in that monarch's reign Bailiff of Alton: but joining the Mountford faction, he suffered outlawry, which was not removed until the following reign, when Sir Adam received the custody of the forest of Wolmer. From this celebrated knight, whose lands at Selborne, Hants, known still as Gurdon manor, belong to Magdalen College, Oxford, sprang the Gurdons of Assington co. Suffolk, and the Gurdons of Letton, co. Norfolk. " 
William de Gourdon founded Gourdon Abbey in 1240. After the Conquest, "Aimeric de Gourdon, 13th century was a benefactor to the church, and had grants from King John in England. In 1231 Henry III. granted to Ralph Mareschal part of the estate of Sir Adam de Gourdon (d. 1305.) " 
While we could find no villages named Gourdon in Britain, one may presume that Girton in Cambridgeshire and Nottinghamshire would be the likely related villages. Girton Cambridgeshire dates back to c. 1060 when it was listed as Grittone and a few years later is listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Gretone. 
Girton, Nottinghamshire similarly dates back to the Domesday Book with the same spelling. Both literally mean "farmstead or village on gravelly ground," from the Old English words "greot" + "tun." 
Girton College of the University of Cambridge derives its name from the nearby village. One branch of the family held a family seat at Assington in Suffolk since early times. "Assington Hall was purchased by Robert Gurdon, in the reign of Henry VIII., from Sir Piers Corbet, and has ever since been the residence of that family." 
The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list: Bartholomew Gurdon in Norfolk; Thomas Gurdon in Oxfordshire; and Roger Gurdon in Cambridgeshire. 
Early History of the Gurdon family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gurdon research. Another 79 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1455, 1487, 1544, 1623, 1571, 1649, 1621, 1622, 1595, 1679, 1640, 1660, 1606 and 1669 are included under the topic Early Gurdon History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Gurdon 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 Gurdon 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 Gurdon include Gurdon, Girdon, Gurton, Girton, Gerdon, Girtin, Gretton, Gritten and many more.
Early Notables of the Gurdon family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Gurdon (c. 1544-1623), an English landowner and politician who sat in the House of Commons in 1571; Brampton Gurdon (died 1649), an English country gentleman and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1621 to...
Migration of the Gurdon 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 Gurdon, or a variant listed above: the name represented in many forms and recorded from the mid 17th century in the great migration from Europe. Migrants settled in the eastern seaboard from Newfoundland, to Maine, to Virginia, the Carolinas, and to the islands..