This name CRIBBS is a variant of Cribb, Cribben and Gribben, a name widespread in the north-eastern counties of Ulster, and has long been on record in counties Down and Armagh as O'Gribbon. The name is O'Gribin in Irish. Ireland was one of the earliest countries to evolve a system of hereditary surnames. They came into being fairly generally in the 11th century, and indeed a few were formed before the year 1000. The name was brought to Ireland during the Invasion of 1066 in the Anglo-Norman form of Robin. In the latter part of the sixteenth century, an influx of settlers arrived under the patronage of Elizabeth I of England, and colonized the country beyond the 'Pale', the area around Dublin that was the only part firmly under English control. At the same time , groups of Presbyterian settlers were encouraged to migrate from Scotland to Ulster, thus establishing the distinctively Scottish surnames of Ulster. During the long centuries of English domination, Irish surnames were crudely Anglicized either phonetically or by translation. In the 19th century, political repression and famine combined to force many Irish people to seek other countries in which to live. Large numbers emigrated to the United States, where strong emotional ties to Ireland are still preserved in many families, while others found themselves transported, willingly or otherwise, to Australia, often after having first tried to make a living in England. Irish surnames are now very widely dispersed, and are common in England as well as in Ireland, the United States and Australia. Most of the European surnames were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name. A notable member of the name was Tom CRIBB (1781-1848) the English prizefighter and bare-knuckles champion of the world. Born in Bitton, Gloucestershire, he won his first public contest in 1805 against the American Bill Richmond after 76 rounds. He retired with an unbeaten record and became a publican in London.
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