Tuesday, 17 March 2009

The Gibbons Surname

Origins of the Surname.

The name is spelt in many different ways over the years, Gibbins, Gibbings, Gibbens, Gubbins, Gubbons, Gibbons, and sometimes with just one “b” with or without the “s”. In many earlier documents it is shown as Gybbons, Gybbens, even Guibbon, or Guibon.

I often ignore the various spelling of names as they are nearly always spelt phonetically, but I would like to note that there seems to be a trend for Edward the Historian to be “Gibbon”, as is the name of Thomas the MP for Exeter, c.1654. The musical family is “Gibbons”. My husband’s family is “Gibbins”, with one exception, a cousin who became so fed up with correcting the spelling from Gibbons to Gibbins gave up using the “i” and kept the “o”.

The surname is described as follows:

1. Son of Gilbert, English, patronymic derived from the Christian name Gilbert 'pledge, bright,' a favourite name during the Middle Ages, partly due to Gilbert of Sempringham who founded the Gilbertine order in the twelfth century and was canonized in 1202.
2. Place name Marsh Gibbon in Buckinghamshire.
3. Ralph Gibiun 1176 is one of the first recorded users of the name.
4. French meaning gift-friend.
5. Gibbwn, the gire-falcon
6. Gibbs - an English surname from the dim. of Gilbert. Gibbon appears as a personal name 15th C. The variant Gibby may derive from the Welsh name Cybi. Gibb, Gibbon, Gibbons, Gibby, Gibba.

The earliest example if the name I have found in Devon is:
1332 Richard Gyboun paid tax of 12d in the Hundred of Colliton Devon, Lay subsidy.


  1. Matthew James Gibbons2 June 2012 at 10:54

    Fascinating to know, my wider family have struggled to find more information about our families history pre 1800's, although my Great Grandfather changed the family name from Gibbon to Gibbons. His origins came from Melbourne in Derbyshire along with the Barton family of Melbourne, supposedly linked via distant relatives to Wyatt Earp and an American General in the US Civil War. I'd love to know if anyone could provide more infrmation towards our families intrigue :-) Kind regards