This interesting name is the patronymic form of the surname "Gilbert", which is of Norman (French) origin, introduced into England by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066, as the male personal name "Gislebert", "Guilbert" or "Gil(l)ebert". The name was adopted by the Normans from the Old German name "Gisilbert", composed of the elements "gisil", hostage, noble youth, and "berht", bright, famous. It is recorded first in England in the Domesday Book of 1086 in the Latinized form of Gislebertus", and appears as a surname in 1235, when one Robert Gylebert is recorded in Ancient Deeds of Norfolk. The given name Gilbert was very popular in medieval England, partly due to the fame of St. Gilbert of Sempringham (1086 - 1189), the founder of the only native English monastic order, and a number of variant forms survive as modern surnames, such as Gilbertson. The marriage of Anthony Gilbertson and Mary William was recorded at St. Bride's, Fleet Street, London on November 28th 1596. The marriage of Isabelle Gilbertson to Solomon Ferguson was recorded at St. Thomas's, Elgin, Ontario, on March 21st 1887. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Nicholas Gilbertson, which was dated 1379, The Yorkshire Poll Tax Returns, during the reign of King Richard 11, "Richard of Bordeaux", 1377 - 1399. 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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