FITZGERALD aka GERALD aka JARRELL aka JERRELL - is it actually a Huguenot JARRETT ??
QUOTE: About two years ago I came across some info. in a southern family historical book that stated that Gerald, Garrett, Jarrell, Garratt, were all derivatives of the Garrett name and probably french. I mentioned this to another Gerald researcher. As there were many French Hugeunots in SC during this period, perhaps James Gerald really was a descendant of a French Huguenot. For him to have married Mildred Taliaferro Strother of a well-to-do family line, James Gerald's family must have been in America for some time and established themselves. Perhaps, the Irish patriot story is true, but I am beginning to suspect differently. Another reason to consider this french huguenot theory is this: James' grandson, William Gerald married Elizabeth Richbourg, a descendant of a French Huguenot leader and pastor. Let's all try to be open about this ancestry and consider all possibilities so that we can knock down this James Gerald brickwall.
QUOTE: .....[Sur]names GARRET and all the "english" variants and the continental "Gerit", "GERHARD" and variations are the current derivations (dialect or what have you) of the original GERRARD.
This was a Given name amongst the NORSE raiders who settled on the north European coastline in 9thC and 10thC
As far as England is concerned the first records of the name are with the men who accompanied King William in 1066 AD
Thus as far as England is concerned the name when it eventually became a SIRENAME was restricted to YEOMEN.
Thus they were not normally poor people and had some local importance, and were some of the first to be educated.
The most highly ranked GARRATT was the premier lord of Ireland - could not get any higher than that!! But the spelling became GERALD - Fitz-gerald. The records of this are not in England - they are held on your side of the pond in (I think) Maryland University....
....For Garratts of any spelling originating from the British Isles (and also often from other parts of Europe) the original i.e. norse spelling from the ninth century AD was GERRARD. This became GERARD GERHARD, GERHEIT, GERRET, GARRET, FitzGarret, Fitzgerald, etc., etc.,
In British records there are often more than one spelling of the name of the same person.
A good example is the Lord Mayor of London you mention. Both he and his father spelt their name in English as GARRETT but he was a merchant trading abroad, and for "foreign" use he spelt his name GERRARD and there is still a street in London named after him and spelt GERRARD although today we pronounce it as though the first letter was a "J"