Do you know your family history?

July 24, 2007

gunncrest.jpgToday I found a very interesting website called houseofnames.com. The site allows you to search by last name and it will return some interesting information about the history of your last name, including family crest, the first known settlers, the clan badge and more.

Of course, I looked up my last name, Gunn.

My last name is of Scottish descent, which I already knew. Here’s House of Name’s brief history of my name:

The story of the Gunn family stretches back through time to the Viking settlers who populated the rugged shores of Scotland in the Medieval era. The name Gunn was derived from Gunnar. Further research revealed that the name is derived from a pet form of this Viking name. The diminutive form is Gunn. The Vikings first came to Scotland in the 9th century after being dispossessed by the King of Norway of their holdings in Scandinavia.

The spellings of Scottish names dating from the medieval era often bear little resemblance to those seen today. They vary enormously because scribes in that time spelled according to their ears. Some spelling variations of the name Gunn include Gunn, Gun, Guinne (Gaelic) and others.First found in the Orkneys where they were seated from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

The farms of Scottish settlers soon dotted the east coast of the colonies that would become the nations of the United States and Canada. Many of those migrants and their children went on to play important roles in the founding the great nations of North America. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the Scottish name Gunn or a variant listed above, including: Daniel Gunn who settled in Boston in 1651; John Gunn settled in Virginia in 1654; William Gunn settled in Jamaica in 1651; John Gunn settled in Nevis in 1654.

You can also buy t-shirts, hats, key chains, mouse pads and other stuff with your family crest on them at the site. They have quite the little operation going on, but at least they provide you with some free information (among all the crap they’re trying to sell).

Click here to find out about your family’s history.


One comment

  1. None of my surnames show up. Big surprise!! Such is the blessing/curse of having a very rare surname on both sides of the family.

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