There are at least two possible explanations for the development of this name, although there seems little doubt about its ultimate pre 9th Century origins. Like the more popular west country (Cornish) surname Gimblett or Gimlet, it derives from the ancient Germanic compound personal name "Gamel" meaning "Old and Wise" plus the later diminutive suffix "ett" to denote "little, small or son of". However, the modern surname as "Gimbrett" would seem to be a very late development and as such is believed to be a form of Gimblett, linked by the 18th Century Gloucester surname "Gimbrel", Samuel Gimbrel of Minchin-Hampton, Gloucestershire being so recorded on September 18th 1754. It is however possible that it may be a form of the French Huguenot Gimbre of Languedoc, although this is usually recorded from the Mid 17th Century as Gimert or Gimbart, as in Godfree Gimbert, christened at the Church of St. Bartholomew the Great, London on July 29th 1682. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Gimbrett, which was dated June 18th 1865, a witness at the christening of his son William Shelley Gimbrett at the Church of St. Stephen and St. Benet, during the reign of Queen Victoria, known as "The Great White Queen", 1837-1901. 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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