A Scottish medieval surname which derives from the Olde English personal name Gislbrand which translates as "bright-burnt" from the pre 8th century. The first name holder was granted a pension of twenty pounds per year from the lands of Belhelvie north of Aberdeen, on the instruction of King Robert the Bruce of whom he was a prominent supporter. His son also Laurence Gillibrand, fared less well being imprisoned by the English in 1346 after the Battle of Durham. In the further spellings the name appears as Gellibrand, Gillibrand and Fellibrand, being most popular in the Preston, Lancashire area. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Laurence de Gelybrand. which was dated C. 1309, in the "Exchequer Rolls of Scotland". during the reign of King Robert the Bruce of Scotland 1306 - 1329. 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.
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