The surname of GILLIBRAND was a locational name 'of Gelybrand'. Although the family settled in England at an early period, this name appears to be of Scottish origin. The name has a firm footing in Lancashire. The use of fixed surnames or descriptive names appears to have commenced in France about the year 1000, and such names were introduced into Scotland through the Normans a little over one hundred years later, although the custom of using them was by no means common for many years afterwards. During the reign of Malcolm Ceannmor (1057-1093) the latter directed his chief subjects, after the custom of other nations, to adopt surnames from their territorial possessions, and there created 'The first erlis that euir was in Scotland'. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. Early records of the name mention Henry Gilibrond, 1313, County Lancashire. Laurence de Gelybrand, 1360 (The Exchequer Rolls of Scotland). John Smyth and Margaret Gellybrand were married at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in 1577. Ellen Gillibrand of Blackburn, was listed in the Wills at Chester in 1670. Surnames before the Norman Conquest of 1066 were rare in England having been brought by the Normans when William the Conqueror invaded the shores. The practice spread to Scotland and Ireland by the 12th century, and in Wales they appeared as late as the 16th century. Most surnames can be traced to one of four sources, locational, from the occupation of the original bearer, nicknames or simply font names based on the first name of the parent being given as the second name to their child.
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