Recorded in a wide variety of spellings including Gibben, Gibbin, Giblett, Giblin, Gibling, Gibbon and Gubbin, this is a medieval English surname, but of Anglo-Saxon and Olde German pre 7th century origins. It is both a patronymic and a diminutive, and in addition has two possible origins. Firstly, it may have originated from the personal name "Gebwine", composed of the elements, "geba", meaning a gift, and "wine" meaning " friend"; or secondly it may have derived as a diminutive of the medieval pet name Gibb, and a short form of the given name Gilbert. This derives from another personal name "Gisilbert", originally composed of the elements "gisil", meaning bright, and "bertha", a pledge. It is believed to have been a forerunner of hereditary surnames, in that it was given apparently by parents in the hope 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. Early examples of the surname recording include Thomas Gibon of Kent in the year 1317, and Simon Giblen of Suffolk in the Subsidy Rolls of 1327. 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. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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