Recorded in many forms including Gibben, Gibbin, Giblin, Gibling, Gibbon, and Gubbin, this English surname 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". Secondly it may also have derived as a diminutive or a double diminutive as Giblin or Gibling, of the medieval nickname Gib. This is a short form of the given name Gilbert, from the pre 7th century German Gisilbert, composed of the elements "gisil", meaning bright and "bertha", a pledge. The personal name was one of endearment given by parents in the hope that the son would ultimately 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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