The surname of GARDINER was an occupational name 'the gardener' one who looked after the parks and gardens. A familiar entry in medieval records. The name was derived from the Norman French word 'gardinier', and was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066. Occupational surnames originally denoted the actual occupation followed by the individual. At what period they became hereditary is a difficult problem. Many of the occupation names were descriptive and could be varied. In the Middle Ages, at least among the Christian population, people did not usually pursue specialized occupations exclusively to the extent that we do today, and they would, in fact, turn their hand to any form of work that needed to be done, particularly in a large house or mansion, or on farms and smallholdings. In early documents, surnames often refer to the actual holder of an office, whether the church or state. Most of the European surnames in countries such as England, Scotland and France were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name. Early documents mention Anger Gardiner, who was recorded in the year year 1166 in the City of London. William le Gardenier, was documented in the year 1199, County Lancashire. Geoffrey le Gardiner, 1273 County Oxford. Gilbert Garthener was documented as the Freeman of York (1327-1377). Thomas Gardiner of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Thomas Gardiner, 1379, ibid. The name was taken early to Scotland by settlers, and Nicholas Gardener is recorded in Peebles in the year 1329, and appears to be the first of the name on record in Scotland. Robert Gardnar was a notary public in the diocese of Dunblane in 1426. William Gardennar was documented as having possessed a garden in Glasgow in 1486. Alexander Gardnare was the burgess of Ayr in 1503, and Robert Gardnar was the burgess of Linlithgow in 1545.
The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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