Garner Surname Genealogy
are French explanations, more than one, for the English surname
from the French word gernier meaning
“granary” (and describe someone who was in charge of a grain
from the personal name Garnier brought by the Normans; or be a
the Gardiner surname.
Gardiner-to-Garner contraction might well
have accounted for many of these Garners, but may have occurred at a
date. Gardiner, derived from the
northern French word gardin, was an occupational name for
person responsible for cultivating the food from the garden. It was in the
16th and 17th centuries that the Gardiner name started being shortened
Gardner and, in some cases, to Garner.
Garner Resources on
- My Primitive Methodists
Three Garner brothers from Leicestershire.
- A Garner Genealogy and Family History
Early Garners in America.
early sightings of the Garner name were in East Anglia.
Geoffrey Gerner was recorded in Essex in
However, the later concentration of the name was to be found further
in a westward arc of the country – from Leicestershire in the Midlands
Staffordshire and Cheshire and then to Lancashire.
These four counties accounted for 45% of all
the Garners in the country in the
The Garner name was cropping up in the 18th
century in villages around the county – in Burbage near Hinckley, Hoby
Melton Mowbray, and Fleckney near Harborough.
Three prominent figures in Primitive Methodism – the Revs. John,
William, and James Garner – grew up in the early 1800’s in the village of East Leake
Garners of Lane End were a notable family in Stoke during the 18th and
centuries. A large tomb in the grounds
of the Church of St. Peter Ad Vincula commemorated members of the
died in 1789 and 1837. Robert Garner and
his son Robert had been prominent potters in nearby Longton.
Garners, according to the writer Alan
Garner, have been living at
Alderley Edge near Macclesfield since the late 16th century. They were stonemasons and blacksmiths. Their local knowledge fed Alan Garner’s
imagination and he created a fantasy world of the area in his
have been more numerous in Lancashire but
less conspicuous. The name was to be
found in the early/mid 1700’s in Northenden and Timperley, now suburbs
America. John Garner is thought to have arrived in
Virginia as a young lad from Shrewsbury in England possibly around 1650. He married Susanna Keene in 1660 and they
settled in the Northern Neck of Virginia in Westmoreland county where
a tobacco planter. His line was covered
in the 1972 book The Garner-Keene
Families of Northern Neck by Ruth Ritchie and Sudie Rucker Wood.
through a grandson John Garner, also a tobacco farmer, led in the
1760’s to the
Garners of Moore and Randolph county, North Carolina.
Garner House in Moore county, still standing, was built by
either John or
his son Lewis.
However, the main line remained in Virginia until after the
Revolutionary War. Afterwards there was
a scattering, some heading west to Tennessee and Texas and others south
Carolinas, Georgia and Alabama.
One Gardiner line that had come to Maryland
became Garner in the early 1700’s. From
John Garner, a planter in Charles county, came Captain Hezekiah Garner
fought in the Second Seminole War and died in Florida of yellow fever
Houston had made the move from Tennessee
to Texas and so did Garners. There were
Garners involved in the battle of Texas independence.
John Garner helped Deaf Smith blow up the
bridge at the Battle of San Jacinto in 1836.
The Garner family from Rutherford, Tennessee came to Texas in 1851.
1851 John Nance Garner was just six when he made the long 700-mile trip
his widowed mother and two brothers and three sisters to Blossom
in a covered wagon.”
fought as a cavalryman on the Confederate side in the Civil War. His son John
Nance Garner, born in 1868, became the US Vice President under
1933. This story was recounted in Bascom
Timmons’ 1948 book Garner of Texas.
names such as Gartner and Baumgartner could become Garner in America.
Gartner from Luxemburg came with his family to North Carolina in the
becoming Henry Garner there. His
grandson David, born in 1768, lived to be 104.
He and his wife Jane followed their sons to Illinois in the
they encountered the Mormons and joined the Mormon Brigade. They departed for Iowa rather than Utah,
however, and were among the first settlers of Pottawattamie
county where Garner township was named in their honor.
Peter Baumgartner, probably
from the Rhine Palatinate, came as Bumgarner, also in the 1740’s, and
in North Carolina as well. The line from
Woodford Bumgarner, three generations later, went first to Georgia and
Arkansas and Oklahoma. It was only in
the 1950’s that Bumgarner became Garner – in the case of those
actors Jack and James Garner.
Australia and New Zealand
Two later Garner
immigrant arrivals to Australia were:
If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:
was an enslaved African
American woman in pre-Civil War America who was notorious – or
– for killing her own daughter rather than allowing the child to be
John Nance Garner was the US Vice President from 1933 to 1941.
Erroll Garner was
jazz pianist and composer known for his swing playing and
born James Bumgarner, became well-known as an
American TV and film actor during the 1950’s and 1960’s.
Alan Garner has been a popular English writer of fantasy fiction,
based on the legends and stories in his native Cheshire.
Joel Garner was a fast bowler in the highly regarded West Indies
cricket teams of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s.
Select Garners Today
- 19,000 in the UK (most numerous
- 27,000 in America (most numerous in Texas)
- 6,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Australia)
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