This most interesting surname is of early medieval Welsh origin, and has two distinct possible sources. Firstly, the surname may be from 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. Secondly, the surname may be from the Old Welsh personal byname "Cethin, Gethyn", from "cethin", meaning "dusky, swarthy", and probably originated as a nickname for a dark (haired) person. Cethin ap Gruffudd is noted in the 1406 Early Welsh Genealogical Tracts. In the modern idiom the surname can be found as Gitting, Gethin, Gething, Gethyn and Gethen. On July 6th 1631, John Gething married Isabell Henlye at St. Margaret's, Westminster, London, and Rebecca, daughter of Philip and Anne Gethyn, was christened at St. Dunstan's in the East, Stepney, on February 20th 1646. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Iorwerth Gethyn, which was dated 1325, in the "Early Medieval Records of Wales", during the reign of King Edward 11, "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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