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About the study
The Gomersall One-Name study started in 1979, when I married a Gomersall. My husband had already traced his family back to about 1700, so unusually I started my research in the 1600's and worked backwards to the beginning of the Birstall registers (1550s). I then got curious about who the other Gomersalls were in the early registers and how they fit into my husband's line and what happened to them, and so the Gomersall One-Name Study was begun. The name was registered with the Guild of One-Name Studies in 1986.
Variants of the name include Gomersal, Gomerson, Gommersall, Gumersall, Gummersall, Gomarsall, Gumerson and Gummerson.
Little and Great Gomersal are villages in the parish of Birstall, between Leeds and Bradford, in Yorkshire. All Gomersalls/Gummersalls are descended from the Gomersalls of Birstall Parish. Another variant, Gummerson, sprang up in the mid 1700's in Kippax, nearly all English Gummersons are descended from these Gummersons, who are descended from the Edward Gomersall who married there in 1732. The surname Gummerson is also of Scandinavian origin 'son of Gummer', many American Gummersons are descended from Scandinavian immigrants.
Distribution of the name
The Gomersalls spread out from Birstall, to the new developments of Leeds and Bradford, then into Lancashire in Manchester and Salford. From early days there were Gomersalls in London including the William Gomersall of Hillingdon, who had the Gomersall coat of arms in the 1500s. It is not known at the moment how these early London Gomersalls fit in with the Yorkshire ones, but they were using all the same family names as the Yorkshire ones.
All of the Gomersall - Gummerson Birth, Marriage and Death entries from the General Register Offices for England & Wales (since 1837) - over 14,000 entries. Extracts of all the wills and administrations for Yorkshire up to 1858. Index and some extracts for all grants of probate since 1858 in England and Wales. Copies of all the PCC wills. Parish register entries for all the main parishes that had Gomersalls from the beginning of the registers up to about 1812.
I have set up a DNA project which can be found here - http://www.familytreedna.com/public/Gomersall