Kirison History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Kirison came to England with the ancestors of the Kirison family in the Norman Conquest of 1066. It comes from the baptismal name Garrison, which means Gerard. That name was originally derived from the Old German Gerhard, which literally means spear-brave. [1]

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 Kirison family

The surname Kirison was first found in the North Riding of Yorkshire where the family originated in Garriston, a small township, in the parish of Haukswell, union of Leyburn, wapentake of Hang-West. [2] [3]

Early History of the Kirison family

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

Kirison 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 Gear, Gayre, Gyre, Garrison, McGair, Kerrison and many more.

Early Notables of the Kirison family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Kirison 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 Kirison name or one of its variants: 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.



  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.


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