No doubt for Gernet,[1] a well known Lancashire house. The name appears in the Norman Exchequer Rolls of the twelfth century. "Guillaume de Carnet" is entered on the Dives Roll, and as William de Chernet, a Hampshire tenant, in Domesday. Hugo de Chernet—evidently his descendant—in 1165 held three knight's fees in the county of John de Port.—Liber Niger. At the same date, William Gernet was of Bedford, and Alexander and Geoffrey of Essex.—Ibid. In the latter county, at least, the family must have continued nearly two hundred years longer, for we find a Henry Gernet serving as Sheriff of Essex and Herts in 1341. They were chiefly, however, settled in Lancashire, where they are believed to have been first enfeoffed by Roger de Poitou. Several of them are named in the Testa de Nevill. "Roger Gernet held as being chief forester: William Gerhet, by the service of meeting the King on the borders of the county with his horse and white rod, and conducting him into and out of the county; and Thomas Gernet, by sounding the horn on meeting the King on his arrival in those parts."—Bain's Lancashire. This Roger, Chief Forester of Lancashire, had a grant of Leylandshire, and further increased his estate by his marriage with Quenilda, fourth daughter and co-heir of Richard Fitz Roger, the founder of the priory of St. Cuthbert at Lytham. "He died 36 Hen. II., leaving a son, Benedict Gernet, who had 3 John been fined ten marks to have the serjeanty of the forests of Lancashire, and to have the King's favour. His daughter and heiress married William de Dacre, son and heir of Ranulph de Dacre, Governor of Carlisle 54 Hen. III. Halton was the original seat of the Gernets. It was held by the service of being Chief Forester of the whole county, and they are presumed to have been the first grantees under Roger de Poitou."—Ibid. The descendants of William Gernet became De Lydiates and De Halsalls, having adopted the names of their manors.

  1. This transposition of the letter "r" is by no means uncommon. Gernon, for instance, is several times given as Grenon in Domesday.

-- Cleveland

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