Recorded in many forms including Garland, Garling, Garlinge, Gerling, Girling, Gorling, Gorlinge, and others, this is a surname which is arguably of Anglo-Saxon and Germanic origins. It is claimed to derive from the word "geri" meaning a spear, to which was added various suffix such as "-in, -ing, or -en" being short forms of "kin" to indicate a close relationship, and sometimes the plural "s" a short form of the patronymic "son". This type of "name" was very typical of the period in history known as "The Dark Ages" roughly from the end of the Roman Empire in the 5th century to the coming of Emperor Charlamagne in the 8th. As such ir may have been a patronymic or it could have been occupataional in some instances and to have described a spearman or the son of a spearman. Later after the 11th century and the famous Crusades to the Holy Land, there was a revival in Christian belief, and biblical names replaced many of the early pagan names, but not this one. It is uncertain how many surname have "geri" as some part of the spellings, but it is known to exceed two hundred, with original examples found in almost every European country. These spellings include not only those shown above, but such forms as Garratt, Gerhard, Garred, Jarrelt, Gheraldi, Giraudot, Gilardengo and Gerrelts! Early examples of the surname recordings include: Magister Gerundus Gering in the charters of city of Konstanz, Germany, in 1325, Edward Gorling at St Andrews Holborn in the city of London in 1592, and George Garlinge, who married Eliza Lane at St James church, Dukes Place, Westminster, in 1688. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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