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George Family History

This is a patronymic surname which means 'son of George', and refers back to an ancestor who bore George as a given name.

In medieval England, the name many have developed from the French 'Georges' which derives from the Latin 'georgius' meaning farmer. Early bearers of the name in England include Robert Gorge of Oxfordshire, and William Gorge of Cambridgeshire who both appear on the 1273 Hundred Rolls, and Cecilia Georg of Bodham, Norfolk who appears on the 1379 Poll Tax records. In Scotland, an Archibald George was a burgess and councillor of Irvine, Ayrshire in 1597.

In Wales, George did not become fixed as a hereditary surname until between the 16th and 19th centuries, and it therefore refers back to an ancestor with that personal name who lived during that period. Historically, while the personal name and the surname were both relatively rare in most parts of Wales, there were nevertheless some significant clusters recorded on parish registers in parts of Montgomeryshire, Monmouthshire, Pembrokeshire, southern Cardiganshire and some parts of Carmarthenshire.

In 1881, Cornwall had the highest number of George entries recorded on that year's UK census, with 839 occurrences. Most George family members were that year employed as farmers, agricultural and general labourers.

In 1891, the surname was recorded in the England and Wales with 20,409 occurrences and a further 868 in Scotland.

Notable people

  • David Lloyd George (1863–1945), a Liberal party Member of Parliament who was the Prime Minister of the UK between 1916 and 1922, the first ever Welsh Prime Minister. Born in Manchester to Welsh parents, he spent his childhood in Pembrokeshire, his father's native county, and later, after his father's death, in his mother's native home, Llanystumdwy in Caernarfonshire.
  • Abraham George (b. 1811) was a Cornish convict who, aged 23, was transported to Australia in 1834 for 7 years for obtaining money under false pretences. He arrived in Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) on board the ship 'Waterloo'.
  • Frank Honywill George (1921 – 1997) was a British psychologist, cyberneticist and former Professor of Cybernetics and Director of the Institute of Cybernetics at the Brunel University.

SOURCES

1881, 1891 Census

Dictionary of American Family Homes, P Hanks OUP 2003

Homes of Family Names in Great Britain, H.B. Guppy, London 1890

The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland, P.Hanks, Coats, McClure OUP 2016

1860 Lower, Mark A Patronymica Britannica: a dictionary of the family names of the United Kingdom, London: J.R Smith. Public Domain

1857 Arthur, William An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. New York: Sheldon, Blakeman. Public Domain

https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/waterloo/1834

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