Recorded in many forms including the base spelling of Gabb and Gabber, the diminutives Gabon, Gabet and Gabin, and the double diminutives of Gabbatus, Gabbidon, and Gabbaton, this interesting surname has several possible origins. Firstly, it may derive from the Old French word "gab" meaning mockery or deceit, and such may have originated as a nickname for a "deceiver". Secondly it may have originated from the male personal name Gabriel or the female given name Gabrielle, meaning "man of god". According to St.Luke's Gospel, the Angel Gabriel was the devine messenger who announced to Zacharias the birth of his, son John the Baptist, and to Mary the birth of Jesus. Gabriel is recorded in England during the middle ages, and occasionally since the 16th Century. Thirdly it is possible that it was a place name, although no such place now exists. The surname in England and as Gabb(er) is first recorded in the early half of the 13th Century, (see below), and early examples taken from authentic rolls and charters of the period include: Walter Gabbe, in the Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire for the year 1275, whilst from the later chruch registers we have Cicely Gabb, who married William Clarke, at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London, in 1632, and Johannes Gabbaton, the son of Georgii Gabbaton, who was christened at the famous church of St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on September 26th 1672. The first recorded spelling of the family name is that of William le Gabber. This was dated 1230, in the "Pipe Rolls" of Devonshire, during the reign of King Henry 111, 1216 - 1272. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop", often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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