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Kerrison History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Kerrison reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Kerrison family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Kerrison is based on the baptismal name Garrison, which means Gerard. That name was originally derived from the Old German Gerhard, which literally means spear-brave. Baptismal names began to appear as surnames relatively late in the growth of the naming tradition. This is a little surprising, given the popularity of biblical figures in the Christian countries of Europe. Nevertheless, surnames derived from baptismal names grew in popularity during the Middle Ages, and have become one of the foremost sources for surnames.

Early Origins of the Kerrison family

The surname Kerrison was first found in Cornwall, where they received a grant of lands from the Count of Mortain in 1066.

Early History of the Kerrison family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kerrison research.
Another 130 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1066 and 1613 are included under the topic Early Kerrison History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kerrison Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Kerrison are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Kerrison include Gear, Gayre, Gyre, Garrison, McGair, Kerrison and many more.

Early Notables of the Kerrison family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Kerrison family to the New World and Oceana

Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Kerrison, or a variant listed above: William Lloyd Garrison who was mobbed in the streets of Boston in 1835 because he was an abolitionist(slavery); R.W. Garrison or Garriston who settled in Baltimore, Maryland in 1872.

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