This long-established surname is of early medieval Welsh origin, and is a patronymic form of "Gethin(g)", itself having two distinct sources, the primary source being the Old Welsh "Gutyn" or "Gutun", hypocoristic forms of the ancient Welsh male given name "Grippiud", later taking the forms "Griffudd, Gruffudd" and "Gruffydd". The component elements of this distinguished forename are the Old Welsh "cryf, griff" (strong) grip, with "udd", chief, lord, and notable early bearers were Gruffudd ap Cynan (1055 - 1137), King of Gwynedd, and Gruffudd ap Llywelyn, King of Gwynedd and Powys and Wales after 1055. Surnames derived from given names are the oldest and most pervasive surname type, and in vernacular naming traditions (as distinct from religious), names were originally composed of vocabulary elements of the local language, and no doubt bestowed for their auspicious connotations. One Gruffudd ap Robert alias Gutyn Elen was noted in "A descriptive Catalogue of ancient Deeds", and Gruffud/Gutun ap Ieuan Ddu was recorded in an Inventory of Early Chancery Proceedings, Wales. The second source of the surname is the Old Welsh personal byname "Cethin, Gethyn", ruddy, dark, swarthy; Y Cethin ap Gruffudd being noted in "Early Welsh Geneological Tracts", dated 1406, and Madoc Gethin appearing in the same records in 1326. On January 9th 1632, Ann, daughter of John and Joane Gethings, was christened at St. Andrew's, Holborn, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Iorwerth Gethyn, which was dated 1325, in "Early Medieval Records of Wales", during the reign of King Edward 11, known as "Edward of Caernafon", 1307 - 1327. 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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