Gyss History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Gyss is one of the many new names that came to England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Gyss 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 Gyss family

The surname Gyss 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 Gyss family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gyss 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 Gyss History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gyss Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Gyse, Guise, Guys, Guy, Gysse, Gyss, Gise, Gwyse and many more.

Early Notables of the Gyss 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 Gyss Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Gyss family to Ireland

Some of the Gyss 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 Gyss family

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Gyss or a variant listed above were: 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 Gyss 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)


Houseofnames.com on Facebook