Here's what surnamedb.com , a free site says about the Gibbs surname:
Last name: Gibbs
This name is one of the patronymic forms of the popular medieval pet name "Gib", itself a short form of the personal name "Gilbert", which was introduced into England by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066. The Norman name was "Gislebert" or "Gillebert", composed of the Germanic elements "Gisil", meaning "hostage" or "noble youth", and "berht", meaning "bright" or "famous". Recordings from London Church Registers include the marriage of Agnes Gibbs and William Chanler on February 13th 1562, at Harrow on the Hill, and the marriage of Ann Gibbs and Thomas Fleetwood on April 2nd 1604, at Cranford. Gilbert became a very popular given name in England during the Middle Ages, and generated a great number and variety of variant forms, such as Gibson, Gibbs and Gipps, meaning "son of Gib". Gibson is found most frequently in the northern counties of England, and in Scotland. One Joseph Gibson, aged 20 yrs., was an early emigrant to the New World Colonies, leaving London on the "Globe" in August 1635, bound for Virginia. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry Gibsone, which was dated 1311, in the "Records of the Borough of Nottinghamshire", during the reign of King Edward 11, known as "Edward of Caernafon", 1307 - 1327. 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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