This very interesting and ancient surname derived from the Olde French "Gab", a word introduced by the Normans after 1066 and which continues to retain its original meaning of being "one who was a loud talker!". It was therefore a nickname, the earliest spellings being simply as 'Gabbe', William Gabbe being recorded in Worcester in 1275. This surname still exists. The modern name spelling is a double diminutive which breaks down into the elements 'Gabb+et+S' to translate as 'Little Gabb's son". The current diminutive spelling forms includes Gabbitas, Gabbitus, Gabbetis, Gabbott, etc, and the very complexity and number of variant forms indicates the original popularity of the name. The name recordings taken from the London church records include Jane Gabitis who married Richard Hogg at St Botolphs Church, Bishopgate, London on April 12th 1573, and Dorothea Gabbitus who married John Howton at St Mary Moses, London on September 26th 1639. In another example Francis Gabbitas married Mary Hanson on the 12th January 1795 at the famous church of St. Clement Danes, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Gabeitus, which was dated 1567, who married Elizabeth Rawlinson at St. Margarets, Westminster, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "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.
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