|origins & legends|
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| Earliest & unplaced Ger/Gur/Gyr/Gear/Geer/Geere etc
...it seems there is a place called GER in Normandy. It may have produced some of the religious Normans such as ANCHITIS and ALBERT JOSCELIN mentioned below. Before the days of surnames clerics appear to have taken their names from their place of origin.
1133-60: ALBERT JOSCELIN GEER in the records of Ramsey Abbey. (Ed's note: Ramsey in Huntingdonshire, near Ely with its famous cathedral. Well worth a visit)
1151: Confirmation to the foundation of Quarr Abbey, Isle of White, established by the grandfather of Richard de Redvers at Montebourg, France. Signed by (amongst others) ANSCHETILLO de GERE. The original of this document was in St. Lo archives, Manche, Normandy.
1275: Isle of Wight. (For our non-UK cousins I. of W. is situated just off the Hampshire/Sussex coast.)
Mention of Messuage (dwelling & land) in Nunwell, I.of W. held by JOHN le GYR. Ref: *
16th March 1299. Local customs accounts for the port of Exeter, 1266-1321 MCR1298/9 on 17d (court dtd 6/3/99) A ship called le Halop Saint Nicholas of Le Vivier (Wyver; Whithier) docked at Topsham with a cargo of 1400 tresses of anise and 25 of onions. And the Master is Gillame Porcher, and the aforesaid goods belong to GILLAME GERE.
* March 1315 mention of a RICHARD le GYR owning land at Smallbrooke, Isle of Wight.
* February 1316 mention of a RICHARD GYR's land at Smallbrooke, Isle of Wight & again in May 1327
1351 & 1353 mention of an ANDREW le GYR @ Glynde, Sussex.
1381: There were DEGHERES involved in the Peasant's Revolt on the English side, persecuting Flemish immigrants.
5/3/1385: Feoffment (indenture from (A) William Waleys, Kt., Lord of the manor of Glynde, to (B) Matilda Hamgate of Glynde, his cousin. Creation date: 5 March 1385. (Ed's note, abbreviated):...land rented by Matilda from her cousin William Waleys, witnessed among others by JOHN GEER & RICHARD GEER. (Are these two from the Isle of Wight ?)
15/05/1385: Feoffment (indenture) from (A) William Waleys, Knt., to (B) RICHARD GEER and w. (wife?) JACOBE. Creation date: 15 May 1385. (Ed's note, abbreviated)..........gift to RICHARD GEER and heirs in tail, remainder to JOHN RUSSELL, son of JOHN RUSSELL godson of the said RICHARD GEER..........RICHARD GEER is to render 2 shillings yearly and suit of court at Glynde whenever it is held, with heriot and relief after the death of RICHARD GEER and each working member of his family. (sequele sue predicto singulo manuoperante). The heavy services exacted and the word sequela would suggest that RICHARD &/or his wife were serfs.
1450: Mention of a WALTER GEERE in Heavitree, Exeter, Devon. Related to George & Thomas, ancestors of USA branch ?
1499: (Quoting Francis) 'the next mention that I have found of Sussex GER/GEER/GERE/GEERE is at Lindfield. After that date the Sussex GEERES appear numerous along the river Ouse in East Sussex.'
Editor's note: Bit of a coincidence that, because I live by a river Ouse, in Norfolk. The following information has been gleaned by myself from various sources.
Cornwall and the Iron Age: Ref 'Cornwall Archaeology & Historic Environment' and a 'Time Team' dig with Tony Robinson and Prof. Mick Aston on 25-27 July 2001, featured on Channel 4 tv.
The two sites are in St. Martin in Meneage, Cornwall, on the south side of the river Helford. GEAR is a very large univallate hill slope enclosure, the largest single-banked enclosure in Cornwall, whilst Caer Vallack has the plan and size of a typical round...
Many thanks to Tony Bayfield, Historic Environment Records Officer (Cornwall) for the following:
"...the name GEAR is found all over the county of Cornwall. The origin of the name is the Cornish place-name element 'KER' meaning fort or round, a univallate enclosed settlement dating from the Iron Age/Romano-British period. The Cornish KER can be found in place names such as CAER, GARE, CAR etc. and as a field name GEAR when it usually refers to a field near to or containing a round."
Further discussion on this name can be found in "Cornish Place Name Elements" by O.J.Padel. Published by the English Place Name Society, 1985.
GERMANY: The name GEIER, from the nameGER, means in German a vulture. But, there is a place named GEYER near Zwickau.
origins & legends p.2