This interesting surname is of early medieval English origin, and is a patronymic form of Gibbon, which is a diminutive of Gibb, a pet form of the given name "Gilbert". Gilbert derives from "Gislebert", a Norman personal name composed of the Germanic elements "gisil", hostage, noble youth, and "berht", bright, famous. This given name enjoyed considerable popularity in England during the Middle Ages, partly as a result of the fame of St. Gilbert of Sempringham (1085 - 1189), the founder of the only native English monastic order. Richard Gibun is listed in the 1202 Pipe Rolls of Sussex. In some instances the surname may be patronymic from the Germanic personal name "Gebwine", from "geba", gift, and "wine", friend. Ralph Gibiun is noted in the 1176 Pipe Rolls of Oxfordshire. 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 30th 1557, Richard, son of Hugh Gibbons, was christened at St. Michael Bassishaw, London. On April 14th 1635, James Gibbons, aged 21 yrs., embarked from London on the ship "Increase", bound for New England. A Coat of Arms granted to the family depicts a gold lion rampant, debruised by a silver bend charged with a torteau between two black crosses pattee fitchee on a red shield, the Crest being a red lion's gamb erased and erect charged with a bezant, holding a black cross pattee fitchee. 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, 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.