This interesting surname is of Old German origin, and derives from the early medieval French personal name "Gibard", which was introduced into England after the Conquest of 1066. The name originated from the Germanic "Gebhardt" composed of the elements "geb" a gift, with "hard" brave, hardy or strong. A saint of this name was bishop of Constance around the end of the 10th Century, and his popularity may have had an influence on the continued use of the given name into the Middle Ages. In some cases the surname is thought to derive from the given name "Gilbert", from the Old German "Gisilbert", which translates as bright pledge. The surname is first recorded in the latter half of the 13th Century (see below), and one John Gilberd is noted in the Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire. The modern surname can also be found as Gibard, Gibberd, and Giberd. On January 3rd 1668, Thomas, son of William and Rebecca Gibbard, was christened at the church of St. Dunstan's, Stepeny, London. A Coat of Arms granted to the Gibbard family is red, on a silver bend cotised a blue lion passant, the Crest being an arm couped, embowed, vested and purfled at the shoulder, the part above the elbow in fesse, the hand in pale, holding a palm branch proper. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry Gilbard, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Norfolk", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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