Gurnerd History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Gurnerd is a name that was carried to England in the great wave of migration from Normandy following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Gurnerd family lived in Gournay-en-Brai in the Siene-Maritime region of France.
Early Origins of the Gurnerd family
The surname Gurnerd was first found in Norfolk where they held a family seat as Lords of the manor of Bray, and were granted the lands by William the Conqueror for their assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D. It is claimed that this ancient race was one of the first Vikings to settle in Normandy, and became Lords of Gournay, which became a town, Gournai-n-Brai, in the arrondisement of Newfchatel. There were two Hughs of Gournays at the Battle of Hastings, father and son, and their son Gerard de Gournay married Edith the daughter of Gundrada, the daughter of William the Conqueror. Farrington-Gurney in Somerset was the site of an ancient family seat. "This place takes the adjunct to its name from the Gournays, its ancient possessors, of whom Sir Thomas de Gournay was concerned in the murder of Edward II. at Berkeley Castle, for which his estates were confiscated." 
Important Dates for the Gurnerd family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gurnerd research. Another 200 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1665, 1655, 1721, 1719, 1779, 1721, 1777, 1770, 1896, 1641, 1565, 1645, 1622, 1626 and 1641 are included under the topic Early Gurnerd History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Gurnerd Spelling Variations
Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Gurnerd include Gourney, Gurney, Gurnie, Gurnee, Gournie, Gournee, Gurnay, Gournay, Gurnard and many more.
Early Notables of the Gurnerd family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Marie de Gournay (1565-1645), a French writer, who wrote a novel and a number of other literary compositions, including two protofeminist works, The...
Another 31 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gurnerd Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Gurnerd family
In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Gurnerds to arrive on North American shores: Edward and John Gurney who settled in Cambridge Massachusetts in 1630; Etienne Gournet settled in Louisiana in 1757.
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.