Gurnsey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Gurnsey family

The surname Gurnsey was first found in Hampshire 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, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands of Ansneville, a commission of Duke William in 1050 from the island of Guernsey, taken by pirates in the island hand who was recorded in the Domesday Book census of 1086.

Early History of the Gurnsey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gurnsey research. Another 102 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1061 and 1066 are included under the topic Early Gurnsey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gurnsey Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Guernesy, Gourneys, Gurnsey and others.

Early Notables of the Gurnsey family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Gurnsey family

Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: 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..

Contemporary Notables of the name Gurnsey (post 1700) +

  • Ezekiel B. Gurnsey, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Chautauqua County 2nd District, 1849 [2]
  • Frederick George Gurnsey (1868-1953), Welsh-born, New Zealand carver and art teacher

  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