The surname of GISBURN was a locational name 'of Gisburne' a parish seven miles from Clitheroe, County York. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. 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 which enveloped him. Between the 11th and 15th centuries it became customary for surnames to be assumed in Europe, but were not commonplace in England or Scotland before the Norman Conquest of 1066. They are to be found in the Domesday Book of 1086. Those of gentler blood assumed surnames at this time, but it was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) that second names became general practice for all people. Early records of the name mention Thomas de Gysburn of Yorkshire, who was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Willelmus de Gisburn, ibid. The name is rare in Scotland but was recorded there early, and Henry de Gyseburn (friar) witnessed a charter in 1229. Thomas Gyseburne was recorded in North Berwick in 1561, and Margaret Guysburn appears in Edinburgh in 1677. Alba, the country which became Scotland, was once shared by four races; the Picts who controlled most of the land north of the Central Belt; the Britons, who had their capital at Dumbarton and held sway over the south west, including modern Cumbria; the Angles, who were Germanic in origin and annexed much of the Eastern Borders in the seventh century, and the Scots. The latter came to Alba from the north of Ireland late in the 5th century to establish a colony in present day Argyll, which they named Dalriada, after their homeland. The Latin name SCOTTI simply means a Gaelic speaker. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Granted at Yoxhall Lodge, County Stafford and Horwick House, County Derbyshire. Granted in 1741, descended from John Gisborne Esq. of Derbyshire who was born in the year 1644. The lion depicted in the arms is the noblest of all wild beasts which is made to be the emblem of strength and valour, and is on that account the most frequently borne in Coat-Armour.
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