This surname although English in some of the spellings as shown below, is ultimately of Ancient Greek origin. Recorded in over two hundred separate spellings and found throughout Europe it derives from the personal name Georgios meaning 'The farmer'. The surname spellings in England have developed from the 13th century Georgii (see below) and now include Gorich, Gorrich, Goricke, Jorick, Gowrick, Gowdridge, Gowridge, Gownge and others, and on the continent Georgius, Giorgio, Gergus, Hirche, Horak, Jorak, Jorat, Yorak, Yegorov, Djordjevic and many others.For very obscure reasons connected with the famous Crusades to the Holy Land in the 12th century George is the patron saint of both Greece and England. The name was popular throughout the early Christian period, being associated with a martyr of the 3rd century, supposedly killed at Nicomedia in the year 303. This popularity increased greatly during the Crusades when it became the practice for returning crusaders and pilgrims to name their children after biblical figures from the Old Testament. When King Edward 111rd of England founded the Order of the Garter in 1348, he did so under the assumed patronage of St. George. The range and volume of spellings since the 12th century a.d. makes it very difficult for researchers to provide examples of all the ongoing developments over the past seven centuries, and examples have had to be selected at random from the surving medieval European recordings. These include: Everadus Georgii of Hamburg, Germany, in the year 1256, and William George, in the London registers, dated 1412. William Georgeson was a landholder in Scotland, having the tenancy of Coupar Grange, in 1471, whilst Henry George, aged 19 years, was one of the first settlers to the New World, being recorded in Virgina in 1635. John Gowdge was recorded at St Botolphs Bishopgate, London, on July 11th 1641, and Ann Gowdridge at St Katherines by the tower (of London) on August 11th 1730 when she married Samuel Spigeon. The first known recording of the family name anywhere is that of Hugo Georgii, of the county of Norfolk, England, in 1222 a.d.
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