This unusual name is from an English, specifically Devonshire, locational source, from the placename "Gittisham" in Devonshire. The placename is first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Gidesham" and in the Fees Court Books of 1242 as "Giddesham". The meaning is "Gyddi's village", from the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Gyddiu" or "Gydda" plus "ham", meaning, variously, "village", "estate", "manor" or "homestead", but usually with early recordings, village. The surname is well recorded in Devonshire, usually spelt either "Getsham" or "Gytesham". Examples include Alic Getsham who married Brian Broadfield at the church of St. Mary Major, Exeter on January 14th 1579, and Ralph Gittsome, recorded at Shobrooke, Devon on February 19th 1614. On 20th May 1646, Clement Gitsham married Ann Broadmead at Cruwys-Morchard, near Tiverton, whilst earlier in 1570 John Getsome married Catherine Cooke, at St. Pauls, Exeter. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Joan Gytesham, married Richard Commen. which was dated 1564, in "St. Paul's Exeter". during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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