Gairdner

Gairdner - what does Gairdner surname mean?

This interesting surname is of early medieval English and French origin, and is from occupational name derived from the Middle English and Old Northern French `gardin`, garden, itself a diminutive of the Germanic word `gard`, an enclosure. The function of the `gardinier`, or `jardiniere` in modern French, of medieval times was an important one, since he was responsible for cultivating edible produce in an orchard or kitchen garden, what, in modern parlance, would be a market gardener. The use of the word `gardener`, referring to one who tends ornamental lawns and flower beds is a much later application. Richard Gardiner was listed as a seaman aboard the `Mayflower` (1620), which sailed for the New World. One Peter Gardner was one of the first emigrants to the New Virginia Colony in April 1635, leaving London on the `Elizabeth` under Mr. William Staggs. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William le Gardinier, which was dated 1199, in the `Pipe Rolls of Rutland`, during the reign of King John, known as `Lackland`, 1199 - 1216. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to `develop` often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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