This unusual and interesting name is of early medieval English origin. However it ultimately derives from a Germanic personal name Gerbold, which was borrowed in the 6th century by Norse-Vikings. These warlike people who in addition to crossing the North Sea and conquering Northern England, much of Ireland, and the Isle of Man, also swept down through Northern Germany, across the Low Countries, until they finally ended up where they have remained ever since, Normandy in France, the land of the Norsemen! The name is derived from the word "geri" meaning a spear, and "bold" - hardy and strong. In England the real popularity of the name followed the Norman- French Invasion of 1066, and early examples include Gerbodo, recorded in the famous Domesday Book of the year 1086, and Gerbodo de Scalt in the pipe rolls of Lincoln, for the year 1175. These however were not hereditary surnames, indeed not surnames at all. The early examples of ttrue surnames include Thomas Gerbot of Staffordshire in the pipe rolls of 1202, and John Garbot in the Friary Register of Yorkshire, in 1397. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of William Gerbode. This was in the records of the Knight Templars (Crusaders) of the county of Huntingdon in 1185, during the reign of King Henry 11nd of England, 1154 - 1189. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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