Genealogy Wise

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Hi everyone

We can at last refer to all Gurds as 'cousins'. For decades, a small group of Gurds living in America and Canada, with ancestors who emigrated from Ireland, have been searching for their roots in that country without success. We have always wondered if there was a connection with our Gurds in Wiltshire, but there was no way to prove or disprove the theory -UNTIL NOW!
Last year my brother Mike (already a member of this group), submitted a sample for DNA testing. The results confirmed what we thought might be our journey from the whole world's first ancestor in Africa. A very 'loose' description of our GURD family journey, is that the ancient group the Gurds belong to, migrated (over thousands of years) north through Africa and the Middle East, then westwards towards Europe and of course Great Britain. Parts of the group moved south to the Iberian Peninsular and north towards Scandinavia. Britain was of course part of mainland Europe at that time. There are still people who share our ancient DNA roots in those parts of  Europe. However, they are linked so far back in time, that their (and our) more complex DNA which has 'evolved'  over the millennia are a very long way from a significant match as far as genealogy is concerned.
NOT SO with the Irish Gurds! Charles Gurd who lives in New Mexico and descends from the Irish 'branch' of the family, recently took the DNA test. The results are everything we could have hoped for. His 12 marker DNA results and Mike's are an exact match!! This means that our mutual GURD ancestor lived roughly 7 generations ago. Seven generations is of course only a general guideline, but gives us some idea as to when one of our Gurd males moved to Ireland and fathered his part of the family. The Irish Gurd descendants  have been gathering sparse bits and pieces of Irish Gurd records for a long time. With their data and the file I have built over the last few years, we are now trying to piece it together and look for pointers to our male migrant. Thankfully there are more Irish records on the internet now, so I'm dredging through them for leads. If anyone has suggestions as to where the link may be, or can add records to help the process we'd love to have them.

If anyone would like a copy of the DNA chart, let us know and we can send copies out.
Dot, Mike and (of course!) Charles

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Hi All,

I've just come across this site today. I'm descended from the Gurds through my 2nd great grandmother Mary Munns (Gurd) (1844 - 1912). I have a Gurd family tree that obtained some time ago, that is quite comprehensive - if I remember correctly, and without checking my sources, it came from research from Joy Lewis. I hope to be able to share info, and to add to the discussions if possible.

I'm just looking at some information now on the NSW BDM, and it seems that quite a few Gurds lived around northern New South Wales (Inverell and Armidale). My 2nd great grandfather James Gurd is buried in Armidale Cemetery - he died in 1885.
Greg Partington
Hi Greg

Sorry I didn't answer your message earlier. The site didn't send me an automated note to say there was a new posting and I have been really busy doing other things, so haven't checked lately.

Joy and I started compiling the Gurd tree several years ago. It now holds thousands of people - Gurds and their related families. We still have the general rule that no-one born less than 100 years ago features on the tree, but as the 1911 census shows people who would be aged 99 now, we add them if the families have no objection.
We have James, Maria (née Horder) and their large family in the online tree. They married in Tisbury Union Workhouse Chapel in 1839 and later that year sailed on the ship 'Alfred' to Australia, where James worked as an Indentured Labourer under the Bounty Scheme. They gave the Workhouse as their address in England, so perhaps, having hit hard times, they saw the new life in Australia as their chance to leave poverty behind. It's interesting that many descendants give James' mother's maiden name as Baxter. We have the marriage of his parents in the Donhead St Andrew Parish Register - Henry GURD and Mary BAILEY. Having looked at an image of the Australian immigration papers, the name isn't clear and it is then that the mis-transcription must have occurred. Confirmation that her maiden name was Bailey, comes in the 1851 Census when Mary was visiting her elderly widowed father William Bailey in Cranborne (Dorset). William was living with his widowed daughter Elizabeth Young in Water Street. Mary Bailey was baptised in Cranborne Church on 30th October 1785, daughter of William and Mary Bailey. The Cranborne Registers are on the Dorset Online Parish Clerk website at
If you see anything missing from your family on the Tree, or a mistake that must be corrected, do let me know.

Hi Dot,

Sorry I haven't replied sooner. Many thanks for your information. I'll go through and check the Gurd entries in my tree. If you're interested, I have two photos of Mary Munns (Gurd), one taken in 1897 and the other around 1910. 





Hi Greg

It's good to hear from you. Thanks for the offer of Mary's pictures. I'd love to have copies.

I have been gathering the Army records of Gurd men who were discharged from the service on health grounds and were in receipt of a pension. There were several 19th century Gurd 'Chelsea Pensioners' and I've been able to download images of their Army records from the internet. Some soldiers who needed care became inmates of the Army's 'Royal Hospital' at Chelsea (London). The majority however returned to civilian life and were classed as 'Out Pensioners'.

One such Pensioner was Henry Gurd (1788) the son of Joseph Gurd and Hannah Bell. His record details his career in the service and the medical reports which led to his discharge. His surname was recorded as 'Guard', but as Henry was illiterate and signed the paper with a cross, I doubt he would have had any idea of the usual spelling. A summary of the report has been added to his page on the tree. I'll add the other men's records as I transcribe them and will leave a message here to let everyone know. One great find is the Army record of John Gurd (1863) the murderer. It doesn't explain why he took the alias, but does give a clear picture of the time he spent in the Service between 1880 and 1884. I wonder what he did between then and 1992 when he murdered the two men. It must be something that happened in that time, that made it necessary to adopt an alias.


Hello Greg,

I've just come across this website whilst researching my connection to Gurds and discovered your entry.  I also share great-great grandfather James Gurd with you!!  My great-grandfather was John Gurd (shown as Gird in NSW BDM's) the younger brother born after your g-g-grandmother, Mary.  I would love to make contact with you and share information.  I am particularly interested in photos as my interest in family history evolved from scrapbooking my forebears.

I grew up in the Inverell district and have some information on the New England Gurds.


Jenny Hollands

Hi Jenny,


Just saw your post. I haven't done a lot of stuff on the Gurds recently, but it'll be a focus at some time in the future. From what you say, you are my third cousin. My email address is Drop me an email and I'll have a yarn about what I have etc etc.




G'day Dot,

I'm sorry I haven't been very active on your page, but my research has taken me elsewhere in recent times. Anyway, I received this email and the lady concerned asked me to pass it on to you. Hope yo are well.





I found your email address on Dorothy Gurd's genealogy page regarding the Gurd family history.

The reason I'm contacting you is that I wondered if you could forward my email address to Dorothy Gurd (I couldn't find how to message her directly through the site as I'm not a member). R A Whitehouse <>


Here's why: I recently went to an Antiques Fair at Ashton Court in Bristol (UK) and bought a book that I later saw had an inscription (Bristol C S S Exam Sept 1900, Awarded to Dottie Gurd, First Prize, Class 3 — see photo below).


It seemed like a lovely bit of family history for someone and I did a quick Google search for the name (hence finding the genealogy site) and, after seeing how involved you all were with the Gurd family history, I wondered if Dorothy would like me to send her the book, Half Hours in Field and Forest.


Apologies for any imposition.


Best wishes,


Claire Whitehouse


Sent from my iPad



Hi Greg

It's good to hear from you! Thanks for passing on Claire Whitehouse's letter. I will write to her. I have recently changed my email address (, so it's a good thing that I altered it on Genealogywise and got your posting. I do know where Dottie Gurd fitted into the tree. She didn't marry, but after her brother's wife died, she brought up her nephew (born 1920) - who many decades later became a friend of mine.

Charles Gurd came over from New Mexico in August and we spent a couple of weeks taking him to all the Gurd ancestral places in south Wiltshire. He is concentrating on collating the DNA Gurd study and I am co-ordinating the genealogy side of things. I believe that (probably) the first Gurd in Ireland was 'Gurshan' Gurd (Gurshan has many spellings). He went over with Oliver Cromwell's invading troops in the 17th century. He was awarded land there by Cromwell and it seems as though he might have begun the 'Irish branch' of the family. He lived at some time in Dorset, where his young son was buried in 1643. There is a way to go yet, but we are getting there slowly!!

Keep in touch, Best wishes, Dot





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