This interesting name has three possible derivations. The first from the Olde Norse Viking pre 7th Century personal name "Gunnr", meaning battle. Secondly, a metonymic occupational name for someone who operated a Seige Cannon, from the Medieval word "gunne" meaning a cannon. This could also have been used as a nickname for a person with a forceful temperament. The name is widespread in Scotland, especially in Caithness, where it is of Norse origin, Gunn was a Caithness, chief of the 12th Century. His name Gunnis an old West Scandinavian personal name. The Gaelic form is "Mac Gille Dhuinn" and means "son of the servant of the brown one". Two early marriages in London are between Richard Gunn and Joane Benson on 22nd October 1627 at St. Margaret's, Westminster, and Alexander Gunnt and Margery Hooper on 26th January 1665 at St. Mary Magdale, Old Fish Street. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Gun, which was dated 1218, in the "Assize Rolls Lancashire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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