Garriott - USA
Little family history is known of the first Garriotts who originated in Europe. The cover of this work is a copy of the Garriott Coat of Arms as replicated by The Historical Research Center LTD (1361 N. Maple #190, Rialto, California 92376, 714 872 6172). The official description of the Garriott Coat of Arms in French is " D'hermine a la fasse de sable, carge d'un caq d'or." The source of this information is Rietstap's Amorial General, page 744. The Blazon of Arms is "Ermine on a fesse sable a cock or." They have translated this to mean:
"The fesse, or horizontal strip on the shield, represents the Military belt and Girdle of Honour worn in ancient times. The cock, as the herald of dawn is often used as an emblem of watchfulness and may be used in armory to signify either a herd in the field, or an able man in the senate. The crest is a 'cock or.' And the origin of course is France."
The French surname "Garriott" is of local origin, in that it was used originally to describe a man by the place where he lived or held land. The root of the name in this case is the French word "garer", which literally means "to station or to take shelter". The name would have been applied originally to one who lived in a sheltered place.
It was not until the early Middle Ages that surnames were first used to distinguish between numbers of people bearing the same personal name. With the growth of documentation in the later Middle Ages, such names became essential, and a person whose distinguishing name described his trade, his place of residence, his father's name, or some personal characteristic, passed that name on to his children, and the surname became hereditary.
Today the name is known in a number of forms in its country of origin. Variants include Garrett, Gariot and Gariou. It is most popular in the Midi Region of France. Although it has been recorded in the United States of American, it remains one of the lesser know names of French origin in that country. (Historical Research Center, Registration Number AN 1 1705)
Family history has it that the Garriotts were French Huguenots who fled religious persecutions. The French Huguenot Society has no reference to Garriotts. It is only family tradition that maintains this idea. There is no reference to Garriotts in England's Huguenot Society. As of this writing I have discovered other sources to consider.
Family tradition has it that the first Garriotts to come to America came from France, but no one has produced specific information. Our research shows that a James Garriott sailed from England in 1774 . He was listed as a "joiner", which was a cabinet or furniture maker. He was listed as aged 24. He sailed from York, England to Maryland on Minerva on the 24th of May, 1774, as a four year indentured servant.. This is the correct age for this James to be one of the "first" three Garriott brothers. (Gotingill, Gerald, Emigrants from England 1773 1776. Boston: New England Historical Genealogical Society, 1917, Lancour 20, 20A and Tepper, Michael , Edicor "Passengers to American: A Consolidation of Ship Passengers list for New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Baltimore Genealogical Publish Co, 1977.)