Fitzgibbons History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Fitzgibbons is derived from the name Gibb, a short form of the Norman personal name Gilbert. This name was originally derived from the name Gislebert, which is comprised of the Germanic elements "gisil," which means "hostage" or "noble youth," and "berht," which means "bright" or "famous." The name features the distinctive Irish patronymic prefix "fitz," which means "son of" in Anglo-French. This is derived from the Old French word "fils," which ultimately comes from the Latin word " filius," both of which mean "son." The Gaelic form of the surname Fitzgibbons is Mac Giobúin.

Early Origins of the Fitzgibbons family

The surname Fitzgibbons was first found in counties of Mayo and Limerick, where two distinct families arose shortly after Strongbow invasion of Ireland in 1172. The majority of the family hails from Mayo and were a branch of the great Burke family.

They were originally known as MacGibbon Burke. They gave their name to Ballymacgibbon in County Mayo. The Limerick FitzGibbon families are descended from John Fitzgerald, whose three sons became hereditary knights of Desmond in 1333.

Two branches of this family, known respectively as the knights of Glin and the knights of Kerry, remained Fitzgeralds. However, the third branch became known by the surname Fitzgibbon and was led by the White Knight, Maurice FitzGibbon, son of Sir Gilbert fitz John, eldest illegitimate son of John FitzGerald, 1st Baron Desmond. The territory of this branch lay in the southeastern corner of Limerick near County Cork. [1]

Early History of the Fitzgibbons family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fitzgibbons research. Another 64 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1357, 1569, 1575, 1419, 1496, 1530, 1543, 1569, 1569, 1552, 1608 and 1596 are included under the topic Early Fitzgibbons History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fitzgibbons Spelling Variations

It was found during an investigation of the origins of the name Fitzgibbons that church officials and medieval scribes often spelled the name as it sounded. This practice lead to a single person's being documented under many spelling variations. The name Fitzgibbons has existed in the various shapes: Fitzgibbon, Fitzgibbons, MacGibbon, Gibbon, Gibbons, Gibben, Gibbens, Gibbin, Gibbins and many more.

Early Notables of the Fitzgibbons family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family up to this time was Maurice Fitzgibbon, 1st White Knight (d. 1357), second son of John Oge Fitzgerald, alias Fitzgibbon (d. 1569), and Ellen, daughter of Patrick Condon, lord of Condons, accompanied James Fitzmaurice to France in March 1575, returning in July. [2] David Fitzgibbon, was the 2nd White Knight; John Fitzgibbon, 3rd White Knight; Maurice Fitzgibbon, 4th White Knight...
Another 62 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fitzgibbons Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Fitzgibbons migration to the United States +

In the 1840s, Ireland experienced a mass exodus to North America due to the Great Potato Famine. These families wanted to escape from hunger and disease that was ravaging their homeland. With the promise of work, freedom and land overseas, the Irish looked upon British North America and the United States as a means of hope and prosperity. Those that survived the journey were able to achieve this through much hard work and perseverance. Early immigration and passenger lists revealed many bearing the name Fitzgibbons:

Fitzgibbons Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Fitzgibbons, who landed in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1878 [3]

Canada Fitzgibbons migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Fitzgibbons Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mary Fitzgibbons, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1814

New Zealand Fitzgibbons migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Fitzgibbons Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Martin Fitzgibbons, (b. 1844), aged 21, British carpenter travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Indian Empire" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 23rd July 1865 [4]
  • Miss Catherine Fitzgibbons, (b. 1845), aged 20, British domestic servant travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Indian Empire" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 23rd July 1865 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Fitzgibbons (post 1700) +

  • John Bowler Fitzgibbons, American businessman and philanthropist
  • Maurice Fitzgibbons (1954-2011), American Democratic Party politician in New Jersey
  • John Fitzgibbons (1868-1941), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York (1933-1935)
  • Sally Fitzgibbons (b. 1990), Australian professional surfer on the Association of Surfing Professionals World Tour (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012)


  1. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
  2. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  4. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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