Gwysse History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Gwysse is one of the many names that the Normans brought with them when they conquered England in 1066. The Gwysse family lived in Gloucestershire. The name, however, refers to the district of Guise in France, where the family was resident prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. [1] Aspley Guise is a village and civil parish located in central Bedfordshire.

"Guy of Warwick, hero of romance, is almost wholly a creature of fiction. Dugdale and other historians of Warwickshire literally accepted as historical the series of legends respecting him, to which literary shape seems to have been first given by an Anglo-Norman poet of the twelfth century." [2]

Early Origins of the Gwysse family

The surname Gwysse was first found in Gloucestershire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Elmore in that shire, and were descended from Sir William Gyse who attended Duke William in his Conquest of England at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.

It is believed that Sir William first held the manor of Highnam from Gloucester Abbey but by the later marriage of Anselm Gyse to Magotta de Burgh (Burke,) daughter of the Earl of Kent, he acquired the Lordship of both Highnam and Elmore in Gloucestershire.

Some of the first records in various early rolls include: Robert de Guuis who was listed in the Pipe Rolls for Gloucestershire in 1207; and John de Gyse in the Pipe Rolls for Berskhire in 1230. [3]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list Anselm de Gyse in Huntingdonshire. John de Gyse was listed in Bedfordshire, 20 Edward I (during the twentieth year of King Edward I's reign) and the same source notes that William de Gyse was listed in Norfolk at that time. [1]

Early History of the Gwysse family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gwysse research. Another 127 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1450, 1632, 1705, 1731, 1629, 1621, 1624, 1644, 1724, 1631, 1710, 1631, 1653, 1683, 1617, 1670, 1654, 1695, 1678, 1732, 1701, 1769, 1765, 1773, 1701 and are included under the topic Early Gwysse History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gwysse Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Gyse, Guise, Guys, Guy, Gysse, Gyss, Gise, Gwyse and many more.

Early Notables of the Gwysse family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Guy (died 1629?), an English merchant adventurer from Bristol, colonist and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1621 to 1624, the first Proprietary Governor of Newfoundland who led the first attempt to establish a colony on the island Thomas Guy (1644-1724) a British bookseller, founder of Guy's Hospital, London. Henry Guy (1631-1710), was a politician, only son of Henry Guy by Elizabeth, daughter of Francis Wethered of Ashlyns, Great Berkhampstead,was born in that parish on 16 June 1631. William Guise (Guilelmus Guisius) (c.1653-1683), was an English Orientalist, the son of John...
Another 104 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gwysse Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Gwysse family to Ireland

Some of the Gwysse family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 59 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Gwysse family

Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Gwysse name or one of its variants: Nicholas, Jane and daughter Mary Guy who settled in New England in 1638; Robert Guy settled in Virginia in 1619; a year before the "Mayflower".



The Gwysse 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: Quo honestior eo tutior
Motto Translation: The more reputable the safer


  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)


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