What is the origin of the last name Garrett?

The last name Garrett has its origins in the Middle English and Anglo-Norman French name "Gerald" or "Gerard," ultimately derived from the Germanic elements "ger" meaning "spear" and "hard" meaning "brave" or "hardy." This ancestral surname has evolved over time, acquiring variations such as Garret, Gerard, Garrit, and Garred. Its prominence can be traced back to England, where the name found popularity during the medieval period and continued to be widely adopted as a patronymic surname by descendants of individuals named Gerard or Gerald.

Countries of origin for the last name Garrett

The last name Garrett is of English origin and is derived from the given name Gerald, which comes from the Germanic elements ger, meaning “spear,” and wald, meaning “rule.” The name Gerald was commonly used in medieval England and was introduced by the Normans.

The name Garrett first appeared in written records during the 12th century and was initially spelled as Gherard, Gherart, or Gerhard. Over time, the spelling evolved to Garard, Garth, Gerrard, and eventually settled as Garrett. The suffix “-ett” is a diminutive form commonly used in English surnames, suggesting “little” or “son of.”

The surname Garrett is primarily found in English-speaking countries, particularly in the United States, where it is most prevalent. According to Census data, Garrett ranks as the 261st most common surname in the United States.

In terms of distribution within the United States, the surname has a strong presence across multiple states, including Texas, California, Ohio, Florida, and Georgia.

Historically, individuals bearing the surname Garrett have made significant contributions in various fields. One notable example is Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, a pioneering English physician and suffragette who became the first woman to qualify in Britain as a physician and surgeon.

The meaning of the surname Garrett reflects strength, as it originates from the Germanic elements for “spear” and “rule.” It suggests a lineage associated with leadership and authority. The spelling variations over time demonstrate the evolution of the name and its adaptability to different linguistic influences.

While the historical record provides a solid foundation for understanding the meaning and distribution of the Garrett surname, it leaves room for further exploration and research. Additional studies could delve into specific branches of the Garrett family tree, tracing lineage and genealogy to gain deeper insights into the legacy and impact of individuals carrying this last name.

Interesting facts about the last name Garrett

  • The surname Garrett has English origins.
  • It is derived from the given name Gerard, which means “brave spear” in Germanic.
  • The name Garrett is derived from the Old German form Gerhard.
  • Garrett is a patronymic surname, meaning it was originally derived from the name of the bearer’s father or ancestor.
  • During the Middle Ages, the name Garrett was widely used in England, particularly in the Yorkshire region.
  • The spelling variations of the surname Garrett include Garret, Garrettson, Garretson, and Garet.
  • In Ireland, the name Garrett is believed to have derived from the Anglo-Norman name “Fitz Gerald,” which means “son of Gerald” or “descendant of Gerald.”
  • The surname Garrett was brought to America by English and Irish immigrants in the 17th century.
  • Prominent individuals with the surname Garrett include American musician Kenny Garrett, British author George Garrett, and American actress LaToya Garrett.
  • The Garrett surname is relatively common in the United States, with significant populations in Ohio, Texas, and California, among other states.

Name Rank


There are around 110697 people with the last name Garrett in the US

Related Names

Related Regions