Gibbons History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Gibbons 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 Gibbons is Mac Giobúin.

Early Origins of the Gibbons family

The surname Gibbons 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 Gibbons family

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

Gibbons Spelling Variations

During the Middle Ages, a single person often had their name recorded by church officials and scribes many different ways. Names were typically spelt as they sounded, which resulted in many different spelling variations. The many versions of the name Gibbons to have been recorded over the years include: Fitzgibbon, Fitzgibbons, MacGibbon, Gibbon, Gibbons, Gibben, Gibbens, Gibbin, Gibbins and many more.

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

Gibbons World Ranking

In the United States, the name Gibbons is the 1,151st most popular surname with an estimated 27,357 people with that name. [3] However, in Newfoundland, Canada, the name Gibbons is ranked the 250th most popular surname with an estimated 175 people with that name. [4] And in Australia, the name Gibbons is the 751st popular surname with an estimated 5,189 people with that name. [5] New Zealand ranks Gibbons as 435th with 1,546 people. [6] The United Kingdom ranks Gibbons as 419th with 15,552 people. [7]


United States Gibbons 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 Gibbons:

Gibbons Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Edward Gibbons, who landed in New England in 1629 [8]
  • Ambrose Gibbons, who arrived in New England in 1632 [8]
  • Oliver Gibbons, who arrived in Maryland in 1635 [8]
  • James Gibbons, who arrived in New England in 1652 [8]
  • Sarah Gibbons, aged 21, who arrived in America in 1656 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Gibbons Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Guy Gibbons, who landed in Virginia in 1701 [8]
  • Peter Gibbons, who arrived in Virginia in 1706 [8]
  • Easter Gibbons, who arrived in Virginia in 1714 [8]
  • Henry Gibbons, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1767 [8]
  • Nicholas Gibbons, who landed in South Carolina in 1772 [8]
Gibbons Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Gibbons, aged 22, who arrived in New York in 1800 [8]
  • William Gibbons, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811 [8]
  • M Gibbons, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816 [8]
  • J Gibbons, who landed in New York, NY in 1816 [8]
  • H Gibbons, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Gibbons migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Gibbons Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Richard Gibbons, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Susanah Gibbons, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Dennis Gibbons, who landed in Quebec in 1784
Gibbons Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • John Gibbons, who arrived in Canada in 1816
  • William Gibbons, who landed in Canada in 1820
  • John Gibbons, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1831
  • Dorothy Gibbons, aged 19, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Dorcas Savage" from Belfast, Ireland
  • George Gibbons, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Daniel O'Connell" in 1834
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Gibbons migration to Australia +

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

Gibbons Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Gibbons, (b. 1799), aged 19, Irish labourer who was convicted in Galway, Ireland for 7 years, transported aboard the "Earl St Vincent" on 9th August 1818, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [9]
  • Josiah Gibbons, English convict from Surrey, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 17, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [10]
  • Miss Mary Gibbons, (b. 1803), aged 25, Irish farm labourer who was convicted in Tipperary, Ireland for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "City of Edinburgh II" on 23rd June 1828, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, she died in 1869 [11]
  • Mr. Thomas Gibbons, English convict who was convicted in Gloucester, Gloucestshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Burrell" on 22nd July 1830, arriving in New South Wales [12]
  • Mr. George Gibbons (William Sheridan), (b. 1813), aged 21, English House Servant who was convicted in East Riding, Yorkshire, England for 7 years for stealing cheese, transported aboard the "Henry Tanner" on 27th June 1834, settling in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1856 [13]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Gibbons 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:

Gibbons Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Ellen Gibbons, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Lord Burleigh" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 8th August 1856 [14]
  • Mr. Patrick Gibbons, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Martaban" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 8th October 1856 [14]
  • Samuel Gibbons, who arrived in Canterbury aboard the ship "Hastings" in 1856
  • Sarah Gibbons, who arrived in Canterbury aboard the ship "Hastings" in 1856
  • Mr. Francis Gibbons, British settler travelling from Liverpool aboard the ship "Tornado" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 26th September 1859 [15]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Gibbons migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [16]
Gibbons Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Mathew Gibbons, aged 20, who arrived in Barbados in 1635 [8]
  • Mr. Mathew Gibbons, (b. 1615), aged 20, British settler travelling aboard the ship "Expedition" arriving in Barbados in 1636 [17]

Contemporary Notables of the name Gibbons (post 1700) +

  • Cedric Gibbons (1893-1960), American art director and production designer for the film industry; he was nominated 39 times for the Academy Award for Best Production Design and won the Oscar 11 times
  • Richard Gibbons (1734-1794), British jurist and politician, Chief Justice of the Colony of Cape Breton (1785-1788) and (1791-1794), founder of the banned group “Seed of Rebellion”; he and his family were captured and he died in the French prison
  • Scott Gibbons (b. 1969), American composer and performer of electroacoustic music
  • Carroll Gibbons (1903-1954), American-born British bandleader and popular composer who made his career primarily in England during the British dance band era
  • Jim Gibbons (1936-2016), American professional football tight end
  • John Howard "Jack" Gibbons (1929-2015), American scientist, nuclear physicist, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
  • James Gibbons (1834-1921), American clergyman, Archbishop of Baltimore, (1877-1921)
  • William Frederick "Billy" Gibbons (b. 1949), American musician, actor and car customizer, best known as the guitarist for ZZ Top, according to Rolling Stone, he's ranked 32nd on the list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" (2011)
  • Kaye Gibbons (b. 1960), American novelist
  • Norah Gibbons (1952-2020), Irish Director of Advocacy at Barnardos, Director and chair of Alcohol Action Ireland
  • ... (Another 6 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Thomas William Gibbons (1917-1942), English Marine from England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking, was listed as missing and presumed killed during the evacuation of Singapore 1942 [18]
  • Mr. Donald Lewis Gibbons, British Able Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and died in the sinking [18]
  • Mr. Anthony S Gibbons, British Ordinary Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [18]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Thomas William Gibbons, British Marine, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [19]
  • Mr. Stanley Edward Gibbons, British Marine, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [19]
HMS Royal Oak
  • John Albert Gibbons (1901-1939), British Able Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [20]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. Michael Gibbons, American 3rd Class passenger from Chicago, Illinois, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [21]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Jacob William Gibbons, aged 36, English Saloon Steward from Studland, Dorset who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking by escaping in life boat 11 [22]
SS Southern Cross
  • Mr. Thomas Gibbons (1889-1914), Newfoundlander from St. Vincent's who was aboard the "SS Southern Cross" when it is suspected she sank between the 31st March 1914 and early April during the storm with a heavy load of pelts; no survivors were ever found
  • Mr. Sebastian Gibbons (1890-1914), Newfoundlander from St. Vincent's who was aboard the "SS Southern Cross" when it is suspected she sank between the 31st March 1914 and early April during the storm with a heavy load of pelts; no survivors were ever found
  • Mr. Lawrence Gibbons (1886-1914), Newfoundlander from St. Vincent's who was aboard the "SS Southern Cross" when it is suspected she sank between the 31st March 1914 and early April during the storm with a heavy load of pelts; no survivors were ever found
  • Mr. Edward Gibbons (1890-1914), Newfoundlander from St. Vincent's who was aboard the "SS Southern Cross" when it is suspected she sank between the 31st March 1914 and early April during the storm with a heavy load of pelts; no survivors were ever found


  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. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  4. ^ The order of Common Surnames in 1955 in Newfoundland retrieved on 20th October 2021 (retrieved from Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland by E.R. Seary corrected edition ISBN 0-7735-1782-0)
  5. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  6. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  7. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  8. ^ 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)
  9. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 9th September 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-st-vincent
  10. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Albion voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1823 with 200 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/albion/1823
  11. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retrieved 10th February 2021, retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/city-of-edinburgh)
  12. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 5th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/burrell
  13. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th January 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/henry-tanner
  14. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  15. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  16. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  17. ^ Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 29th September 2021. (Retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  18. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  19. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  20. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html
  21. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  22. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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