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" until the late 17th Century, when the christening of Mary Gitsham is recorded in Shobrooke, Devon on the 15th March 1698. 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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