The surname of GIBBS was a baptismal name 'the son of Gilbert' from the nickname Gibbe, an ancient but now forgotten personal name. When the coast of England was invaded by William The Conqueror in the year 1066, the Normans brought with them a store of French personal names, which soon, more or less, entirely replaced the traditional more varied Old English personal names, at least among the upper and middle classes. A century of so later, given names of the principal saints of the Christian church began to be used. It is from these two types of given name that the majority of the English patronymic surnames are derived and used to this day. Early records of the name mention Gibbe de Huckendale, 1179 Northumberland. Wince Gibbe, was documented in 1290 in the County of Norfolk. Johannes Gybsonne of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. A notorious rascal named Gybby Selby is mentioned in State Papers of London in 1562. James Gibbs (1682-1754) was the Scottish architect, born in Aberdeen. He studied in Holland as a protege of the exiled Earl of Mar. He became a friend and disciple of Wren, and in 1713 one of the commissioners for building new churches in London, but was dismissed in 1715 for his Roman Catholicism. He designed St. Mary-le-Strand (1717), the steeple of St. Clement Danes (1719) and St. Martin-in-the-Fields, the latter being perhaps his most influential and attractive work. He was also responsible for St. Bartholomew's Hospital in 1730 and the Senate House in Cambridge in 1730. Sir Vicary Gibbs (1751-1820) was the English judge, born in Exeter. He became solicitor general, attorney-general, lord chief-baron and chief justice of the common pleas. His bitter sarcasm and lack of humour gained him the nickname of 'Vinegar Gibbs'. In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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