The surname of GARRETT was a baptismal name 'the son of Gerard'. The name was derived from the Old German Gerhard - meaning spear-brave. The name was brought to England in the wake of the Norman Conquest of 1066. Early records of the name mention Gerardus (without surname) was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086. In 1066 Duke William of Normandy conquered England. He was crowned King, and most of the lands of the English nobility were soon granted to his followers. Domesday Book was compiled 20 years later. The Saxon Chronicle records that in 1085 'at Gloucester at midwinter, the King had deep speech with his counsellors, and sent men all over England to each shire to find out, what or how much each landowner held in land and livestock, and what it was worth. The returns were brought to him'. William was thorough. One of his Counsellors reports that he also sent a second set of Commissioners 'to shires they did not know and where they were themselves unknown, to check their predecessors' survey, and report culprits to the King'. The information was collected at Winchester, corrected, abridged, and copied by one single writer into a single volume. Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex were copied, by several writers into a second volume. The whole undertaking was completed at speed, in less than 12 months. Hugo Gerard was recorded in the year 1199 in Northumberland. William Gerart, was documented in 1281 in the County of Suffolk. Johannes Gerard of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Thomas Garard of Oxford, registered at Oxford University in 1511. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. The name has many variant spellings which include Garrard, Garret, Garrot, Garritt, Garrood and Garrud. The associated arms are recorded Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
The arms are registered in London.
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