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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Tibbetts family come from? What is the English Tibbetts family crest and coat of arms? When did the Tibbetts family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Tibbetts family history?

The Tibbetts surname finds its earliest origins with the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name is derived from the Old French personal name Theobald, which comes from the Germanic name Theudebald. It probably came to England in the wake of the Norman invasion of 1066, when King William actively encouraged immigration of skilled craftsmen and administrators from the continent. Theobald means "people bold" and was a common continental name. Patronymic surnames arose out of the vernacular and religious given name traditions. The vernacular or regional naming tradition is the oldest and most pervasive type of patronymic surname. According to this custom, names were originally composed of vocabulary elements from the local language. Vernacular names that were derived from ancient Germanic personal names have cognates in most European languages. For example, the court of Charlemagne (742-814) was Christian and Latin-speaking, but the Frankish dialect of Old German was commonly used for personal names. Vernacular names were widespread throughout Normandy. Accordingly, many typical English and French names are in fact, originally of Germanic origin and often have cognates in other European countries. This particular patronym is derived from a diminutive of the name Theobald; a common diminutive of Theobald was Tib, Tib-et is a double diminutive (a diminutive of a diminutive) of the name.

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It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Tibbetts are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Tibbetts include: Tibbits, Tibbets, Tibbit, Tibbet and others.

First found in Northampton where they were believed to be seated since shortly after the Conquest in 1066.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Tibbetts research. Another 238 words(17 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Tibbetts History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Tibbetts Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Tibbetts or a variant listed above:

Tibbetts Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Walter Tibbetts, who arrived in Salem, Massachusetts in 1651
  • Jeremiah Tibbetts, who arrived in New England in 1656
  • Henry Tibbetts, who arrived in New England in 1665
  • Thomas Tibbetts, who landed in Maryland in 1675

Tibbetts Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • J Tibbetts, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • A Tibbetts, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • Enoch Tibbetts, aged 52, who emigrated to the United States from Cradley Heath, in 1892
  • Mary Tibbetts, aged 18, who emigrated to the United States, in 1892
  • R.M. Tibbetts, aged 45, who settled in America, in 1893


Tibbetts Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Lewis Tibbetts, aged 45, who emigrated to America from London, in 1900
  • Hannah Tibbetts, aged 54, who emigrated to the United States, in 1903
  • E. Rebe Tibbetts, aged 21, who landed in America from Ely, England, in 1904
  • Elizabeth Tibbetts, aged 44, who emigrated to the United States from Ely, England, in 1904
  • Henry Arthur Tibbetts, aged 20, who landed in America from Leicester, in 1905


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  • Steve Tibbetts (b. 1954), American guitarist
  • Billy Tibbetts (b. 1974), American NHL professional hockey player
  • Willard Lewis Tibbetts Jr. (1903-1992), American Olympic bronze medalist runner at the 1924 Summer Olympics
  • George W. Tibbetts (b. 1845), American merchant and hops farmer who was a well-known critic of Chinese labor being used in place of white labor (c. 1885)
  • John C. Tibbetts (b. 1946), American film critic, historian, painter and pianist
  • Margaret Joy Tibbetts (1919-2010), American diplomat, United States Ambassador to Norway from 1964 to 1969
  • Michael Tibbetts, Professor of Biology at Bard College
  • Darwin Kurt Tibbetts OBE (b. 1954), Caymanian politician, Leader of Government Business (2005 to 2009), Leader of the Opposition (2009 to 2011)


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  • Mary Tibbetts Dennison, 1877-1970, Her Genealogical Lines by Bertie Holmes Boodry.
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  1. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  2. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  3. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  5. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  7. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  8. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  9. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  10. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  11. ...

The Tibbetts Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Tibbetts Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 12 September 2014 at 12:42.

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