This interesting surname, with variant spellings Gibben, Gibbin and Gubbin, has two possible origins. Firstly, it may have originated from the Germanic personal name "Gebwine", composed of the elements, "geba" a gift and "wine" a friend; hence it was used in reference to a "good friend". It may also have derived as a diminutive of the medieval pet name Gib, a short form of the given name Gilbert. Gilbert, from the old German, Gisilbert, is composed of the elements "gisil", bright and "bertha", pledge, and suggests the hope of parents that their son would continue the family line. Gilbert became a very popular given name in England during the Middle Ages, partly through the fame of St. Gilbert of Sempringham (1085-1189), the founder of the only native English monastic order, the Gilbertines. One, Charles Gibbon, (1843-1890), was a novelist and journalist at Glasgow, he published about thirty novels and edited "Casquet of Literature", in 1873-1874. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph Gibiun, which was dated 1176, in the "Pipe Rolls of Oxfordshire", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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