This surname is of the baptismal group of surnames 'the son of Sybil' from the nickname Ciss or Siss. Following the Crusades in England after the 13th century, a need was felt for a family name in addition to the one that had been given at birth. This was often achieved by taking the name of the mother or father, and using it as a second name. The earliest of this name on record is SIBSONE (without surname) who was recorded in 1198, County Wiltshire. William Sibbison was documented in the year 1327. Willelmus Sibilson, of Yorkshire, who was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Agnes Sybson (weaver) was documented in the same Tax listing. Thomas Sibson was documented in County Somerset in the year 1400, and Robert Sibbs of Counston, County Suffolk was recorded in 1524. Richard Sibson of Cumberland, registered at Oxford University in the year 1660. Originally the coat of arms identified the wearer, either in battle or in tournaments. Completely covered in body and facial armour, the knight could be spotted and known by the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped garment with enveloped him. The name was rendered in Latin documents as SIBILLA, a title (of obscure origin) borne by various priestesses in Classical times. In Christian mythology the sibyls came to be classed as pagan prophets, and hence the name was a respectable one to be bestowed on a child. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God. However much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error. Among the humbler classes of European society, and especially among illiterate people, individuals were willing to accept the mistakes of officials, clerks and priests as officially bestowing a new version of their surname, just as they had meekly accepted the surname they had been born with. In North America, the linguistic problems confronting immigration officials at Ellis Island in the 19th century were legendary as a prolific source of Anglicization.
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