This name, with variant spellings Gibbens, Gibbins, Gubbins and Gibbings, is a patronymic i.e. "son of Gib(b)on" itself deriving from the Olde French personal name Giboin, ultimately from the Anglo-Saxon Gebawin, composed of the elements "geba" meaning "gift", plus "wine", friend. One, Ralph Gibiun of Gibbewin was recorded in the 1176 "Pipe Rolls of Oxfordshire" and a Geoffrey Gibewin in the 1196 "Subsidy Rolls of Somerset". In 1202 Richard Gibun appeared in the "Pipe Rolls of Sussex" and a Thomas Gibon, (witness), in the "Assize Court Rolls of Kent", dated 1317. the full patronymic form of the name emerges in the 1379 "Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire" with the entry of one, Roger Gibonson. On April 14th 1635 James Gibbons, aged 21, embarked from London on the ship "Increase" bound for New England. He was one of the earliest recorded name bearers to settle in America. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Gibbons, jesuit and doctor of philosophy at the German College, Rome. which was dated 1544 - 1589, in the "Ecclesiastical Records of Rome", during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Bluff King Hal", 1509 - 1547. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.