This surname GIBBON was derived from the Old English word Gebawin, meaning 'gift-friend'. The earliest of the name recorded appears to be Ralph Gibuin, documented in the year 1086. The name was originally brought into England from Germany in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066, and the original spelling of the name was GEBAWIN. Many of the early names recorded in medieval documents denote noble families but many also indicate migration from the continent during, and in the wake of, the Norman invasion of 1066. There was a constant stream of merchants, workmen and others arriving in England during this time. In 1086 the Record of Great Inquisition of lands of England, their extent, value, ownership and liabilities was made by order of William The Conquerer. It is known as the Domesday Book. Prior to the Invasion of William the Conqueror in 1066, no one had surnames, only christian or nicknames in England. Based on this, and our physical attributes, we were given surnames incorporating tax codes to show trades, areas in which we lived, as today we have street names and numbers. Surnames were used in France and like speaking countries from about the year 1000, and a few places had second names even earlier. Even early monarchs had additions to show attributes and character, for example Ethelred (red-hair) the Unready (never prepared). Edward I was named 'Long shanks' because of his long legs, and Richard III was called 'Crouchback' owing to his deformed shoulder. Other records of the name mention Ralph Gibun who was documented in the year 1176 in County Oxford and Thomas Gibon appears in the year 1317 in County Kent. Richard Gibbings of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Later instances of the name include one Ellen Gybinnes who was baptised at St. Peter. Cornhill, London in the year of 1541. A notable member of the name was Edward Gibbon, English Historian, (1737-1794) author of 'The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
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