Show ContentsGibbens History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Gibbens 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 Gibbens is Mac Giobúin.

Early Origins of the Gibbens family

The surname Gibbens 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 Gibbens family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gibbens 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 Gibbens History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gibbens Spelling Variations

Church officials and medieval scribes often spelled early surnames as they sounded. This practice often resulted in many spelling variations of even a single name. Early versions of the name Gibbens included: Fitzgibbon, Fitzgibbons, MacGibbon, Gibbon, Gibbons, Gibben, Gibbens, Gibbin, Gibbins and many more.

Early Notables of the Gibbens 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 Gibbens Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gibbens Ranking

In the United States, the name Gibbens is the 17,334th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [3]

United States Gibbens migration to the United States +

In the mid-19th century, Ireland experienced one of the worst periods in its entire history. During this decade in order to ease the pressure of the soil, which was actually depleted by the effects of the previous years' grain crops, landowners forced tenant farmers and peasants onto tiny plots of land that barely provided the basic sustenance a family required. Conditions were worsened, though, by the population of the country, which was growing fast to roughly eight million. So when the Great Potato Famine of the mid-1840s hit, starvation and diseases decimated the population. Thousands of Irish families left the country for British North America and the United States. The new immigrants were often accommodated either in the opening western frontiers or as cheap unskilled labor in the established centers. In early passenger and immigration lists there are many immigrants bearing the name Gibbens:

Gibbens Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • James Gibbens, aged 21, who landed in New England in 1635 [4]
Gibbens Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Thomas Gibbens, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1766 [4]
Gibbens Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • M F Gibbens, who arrived in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1840 [4]
  • Mark F Gibbens, who landed in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1842 [4]
  • Michael Gibbens, who arrived in New York in 1850 [4]
  • Charles and James Gibbens, who settled in Philadelphia in 1862

Australia Gibbens migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Gibbens Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Gibbens, English convict who was convicted in Stafford, Staffordshire, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Elphinstone" on 28th July 1842, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [5]
  • William Gibbens, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Duke of Bedford" in 1848 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Gibbens (post 1700) +

  • William Gibbens, American politician, U.S. Vice Consul in Cornwall, 1914 [7]
  • Mike Gibbens, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for Kansas State Senate 3rd District, 2000 [7]
  • Lisa Gibbens, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from North Dakota, 2008 [7]
  • Alvaro F. Gibbens, American Republican politician, Postmaster at Charleston, West Virginia, 1879-81, 1884-85 [7]
  • Barnaby John "Barney" Gibbens OBE (1935-2012), British a co-founder of the CAP Group
  • Nigel Gibbens, Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) of the United Kingdom (2008)
  • Kevin Gibbens (b. 1979), English footballer
  • Craig Gibbens (b. 1965), English cricketer

  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. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  4. 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)
  5. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 23rd March 2022). Retrieved from
  6. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) DUKE OF BEDFORD 1848. Retrieved from
  7. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 9) . Retrieved from on Facebook