This name, with variant spellings Gerth, and Gyrth, derives from Gerth, a short form of the Olde German personal name Gerhart, composed of the elements 'geri', a spear, plus 'hart', hard. The surname from this source is first recorded in the latter half of the 16th Century, (see below). On February 5th 1626 Robert, son of Edward Gerth, was christened in St. Botolph's Bishopgate, London and on April 23rd 1648 John Jearth and Anne Brock were married in the above church. The variant form Girt is particularly well recorded in Suffolk Church registers from the late 17th Century. On February 8th 1671 Elizabeth Girt and John Maisters were married in Edwardstone, and on November 27th 1687 John Girt married Rose Diaper in Buxhall. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Gyrth, which was dated August 1570, christened in Euston, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Good Queen Bess, 1558 - 1603. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.