Show ContentsGuymer History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Guymer family arrived in England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Guymer came from the medieval given name Giles. This name is derived from the Greek aigidion, which means kid, or young goat.

Another source claims the family were originally Norman from "La Gile or Gueilles, Normandy as the Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae lists Robert de Gueilles of Normandy 1198. [1]

Early Origins of the Guymer family

The surname Guymer was first found in the Domesday Book of 1086 where Gilo and Ghilo were both listed. [2] Shortly after Widofilius Gisel was listed in Lincolnshire as was Gisle, Egidius, Gilo, Gile in 1183-1187.

About this time, the first records of the name as a surname appeared: Ailward, Godfrey Gile in the Pipe Rolls for Berkshire and Northumberland 1176, 1191; William Gyles in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex in 1296; William Gilis in the Assize Rolls for Kent in 1317; and Nicholas Gisel in Suffolk in 1346. [3]

"The Domesday Book Gilo has been identified with Old German Gilo, equivalent to Gislebertus, and this is supported by the forms Gisel, Gisle. The Latinization of this by Egidius shows that the scribe associated the name with Giles, a difficult name, regularly translated Egidius, from Greek ayíiov 'kid'. The name of the 7th-century Provengal hermit St Ægidius spread widely and survives as Gidi, Gidy in southern France, as Gili, Gilli in the Alpes-Maritimes, elsewhere as Gile, Gille. The popularity of this form in England is proved both by the number of churches dedicated to St Giles and by the frequent medieval Egidius." [3]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 include: Egidius, or Gilius Gowsell, Lincolnshire; Jordan filius Egidii, Lincolnshire; and Osbert filius Egidii, Lincolnshire. [4]

Further to the north in Scotland, the first record was of William Gilis who gave his land of Mosplat to the church of Lanark c. 1214. But we must wait over three hundred years to find the next references: Robert Geliss was chaplain in 1527, and Jhone Gelis was one of an inquest on lands of Gowane (Govan) in the same year. [5]

"Dean Prior, [Devon] was purchased at the Dissolution from Henry VIII. by William Giles of Bowden, near Totnes, and in the mansion which the Gileses built there long resided Sir Edward Giles, born at Totnes about 1580, one of Prince's ' Worthies,' and a prominent Devonian throughout a long career. A soldier in the Low Countries, under Elizabeth ; a courtier, knighted by James I. at his coronation ; constantly chosen one of the representatives of Totnes during the reigns of James and Charles he proved himself not only a statesman, but a patriot, by remonstrating against ship-money in 1634. The epitaph on Sir Edward Giles and his wife, placed beneath their handsome monument in Dean Prior Church, was written by Robert Herrick, who was for many years Vicar of Dean." [6]

Early History of the Guymer family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Guymer research. Another 184 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1273, 1296, 1317, 1346, 1564, 1567, 1571, 1576, 1615, 1621, 1634, 1640, 1644, 1652, 1680, 1681, 1709, 1741 and 1755 are included under the topic Early Guymer History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Guymer Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Giles, Gyles, Jiles and others.

Early Notables of the Guymer family

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Gyles (ca.1680-1755), American interpreter and soldier, best known for his account of his experiences with the Malecite tribes.Mascal Gyles (died 1652), was an English vicar of Ditchling, Sussex, from 1621 to 1644; and Henry Gyles or Giles (1640?-1709), was an English...
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Guymer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Guymer family to Ireland

Some of the Guymer family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 47 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Guymer migration to the United States +

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Guymer or a variant listed above:

Guymer Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Augusta Guymer, aged 47, who immigrated to the United States, in 1906
  • Frank Guymer, aged 54, who immigrated to America, in 1906
  • Eliza Guymer, aged 58, who landed in America from Nottingham, England, in 1911

Contemporary Notables of the name Guymer (post 1700) +

  • Chloe Guymer, American child actress
  • Myrna Guymer, Canadian author [7]
  • Graham Guymer, British fine artist [8]

The Guymer Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Pensez a moi
Motto Translation: Think of me.

  1. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  6. Worth, R.N., A History of Devonshire London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, E.G., 1895. Digital
  7. Myrna Guymer. (Retrieved 2011, December 1) Myrna Guymer. Retrieved from
  8. Graham Guymer. (Retrieved 2011, December 1) Graham Guymer. Retrieved from on Facebook