Recorded in many forms as shown below, this is a surname of Olde English and mainly Welsh origins. It probably derives from the pre 7th century personal name 'Ceth or Cethin' meaning swarthy or dark or from Gruffudd, the later Griffith, meaning 'Strong lord'. The vast majority of Celtic and Gaelic surnames other than those found in the English county of Cornwall, are patronymic or diminutive, and originate from a nickname for the first chief of the clan or sept. In this case the surname is recorded as Gett, Gitt, Gytt, Gyte, Gething, Gettings, Gettins, Gittens, Gitting, Gittings, Jett, Jettes, and others. Curiously Wales was the last place in the British Isles to adopt what we now know as hereditary surnames, and then not usually before the 17th century. Such early recordings as exist are usually those of Welshmen resident in English Border counties, as in the first recording below. Other examples taken from surviving registers include Agnes Gyttons at St Margarets Westminstter, on June 7th 1570, Richard Gettes at St Dunstans Stepney, on November 3rd 1588, George Gittings who married Joane Austen on January 27th 1609, at St James Clerkenwell, and David Gettings who was christened on August 5th 1649 at Saint Giles Cripplegate, city of London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Eynon Gethin. This was dated 1332, in the Chirkland records of Shopshire, during the reign of King Edward 111st of England, 1327 - 1377. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017