This interesting surname, recorded in English Church Registers from the mid 16th Century, under the variant spellings Gittose, Gittis, Gittosse, and the rarer Gitthouse, and Gethouse, is a patronymic from the Welsh personal name "Guto" or "Gitto", themselves pet forms of "Gruffydd". One Gruffudd ap (son of) Cynan was King of Gwynedd circa 1055. The name is composed of the elements "griff" meaning "strong grip", plus "ud", lord. David Gryffyth, who held the Lordship of Oswestry in 1295, is the first recorded bearer of the surname. On June 9th 1585, John, son of Richard Gyttos, was christened in St. Giles Cripplegate, London. Edmund Gittis and Joan Gillam were married in St. Michael's Bath, Somerset, on May 8th 1614, and John Gyttoes married a Rose Husday in Bath Abbey on October 23rd 1620. Elizabeth Gittoes, an infant, was christened in St. Botolph's, Bishopsgate, London, on December 9th 1638, and on May 31st 1666, Petter Gethouse was christened in St. Augustine's, Bristol, Gloucestershire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Gittose, which was dated May 28th 1563, christened at Woodchester, Gloucestershire, 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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