This unusual name is one of the patronymic forms of the given name 'Gitto', a diminutive form of the ancient Welsh name now familiar as 'Griffith', and is found mainly in Shropshire. The original name, in Old Welsh, was 'Grippiud', which gradually developed into 'Griffudd' and 'Gruffudd', and the early standard form 'Gruffydd'. The normal pronunciation of the name in South Wales became 'Griffidd', and those medieval scribes who were not Welsh generally wrote 'Griffith', as being the closest phonetic spelling within their writing system. The first element of the name, 'Griff', is thought to mean 'strong grip', and the second, 'iudd', means 'chief, lord'. A number of diminutive forms of 'Griffith', used as both forename and surname, had developed by the 15th Century, among them 'Guto' and the South Wales form 'Gitto', of which 'Gittoes' and 'Gittus' are the main patronymics, meaning 'son of Gitto'. The name development in Shropshire includes Gittowes (1559), Gittius (1563), Gittos (1565) and Gittose (1586). The marriage of Anthonie Gittus and Margaret Morris was recorded in Ludlow, Shropshire, on June 19th 1663. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Gittos, which was dated 1596, County Records of Shropshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, '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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