Gibbs History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the first family to use the name Gibbs lived among the Pictish people of ancient Scotland. The name Gibbs is derived from Gibb, which is a pet form of the personal name Gilbert. [1] [2] [3]

This name is derived from the Old English forenames Gislberht and Gislbeorht, which mean bright hostage. [4]

Early Origins of the Gibbs family

The surname Gibbs was first found in Inverness-shire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Nis) divided between the present day Scottish Council Areas of Highland and Western Isles.

Entries for the family are quite late by typical standards. Records in the 16th century include: "Dauid Gyb was member of assize at Cupar in 1521, Elizabeth Gib is recorded in Craigmakerane in 1585, and Robert Gib was burgess of Linlithgow in 1622." [2]

Early History of the Gibbs family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gibbs research. Another 129 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1521, 1585, 1622, 1689, 1654, 1656, 1677, 1681, 1651, 1681, 1604, 1681, 1603, 1604, 1611, 1677 and are included under the topic Early Gibbs History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gibbs Spelling Variations

The arts of spelling and translation were yet in their infancies when surnames began, so there are an enormous number of spelling variations of the names in early Scottish records. This is a particular problem with Scottish names because of the numerous times a name might have been loosely translated to English from Gaelic and back. Gibbs has been spelled Gibb, Gibbe, Gibbs, Gibbes and others.

Early Notables of the Gibbs family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan at this time was William Gibbes (died 1689), an English merchant and politician, Member of Parliament for Suffolk (1654-1656), High Sheriff of Suffolk in 1677. Frederick Gibb (d. 1681), was a miscellaneous writer, son of Bernard Gibb, advocate and was born at Dunfermline, studied medicine, and took, 9 Sept. 1651, the degree of doctor at the university of Valence. He spent his life abroad. He died 27 March...
Another 71 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gibbs Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gibbs World Ranking

In the United States, the name Gibbs is the 414th most popular surname with an estimated 67,149 people with that name. [5] However, in Australia, the name Gibbs is ranked the 383rd most popular surname with an estimated 9,726 people with that name. [6] And in New Zealand, the name Gibbs is the 206th popular surname with an estimated 2,712 people with that name. [7] The United Kingdom ranks Gibbs as 306th with 19,800 people. [8]

Ireland Migration of the Gibbs family to Ireland

Some of the Gibbs family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Gibbs migration to the United States +

This oppression forced many Scots to leave their homelands. Most of these chose North America as their destination. Although the journey left many sick and poor, these immigrants were welcomed the hardy with great opportunity. Many of these settlers stood up for their newfound freedom in the American War of Independence. More recently, Scots abroad have recovered much of their collective heritage through highland games and other patriotic functions and groups. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has located various settlers bearing the name Gibbs:

Gibbs Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Francis Gibbs, who arrived in Virginia in 1624 [9]
  • Giles Gibbs, who landed in Massachusetts in 1633 [9]
  • Jane Gibbs, aged 25, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [9]
  • Jo Gibbs, aged 35, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [9]
  • Humphry Gibbs, who landed in Virginia in 1639 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Gibbs Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Abraham Gibbs, a Jacobite Loyalist sold into slavery in Maryland in 1760
  • Joseph Gibbs, who arrived in America in 1760 [9]
  • John Gibbs, who landed in America in 1760 [9]
Gibbs Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Ruth Gibbs, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816 [9]
  • James Gibbs, who arrived in New York in 1818 [9]
  • Thomas F Gibbs, who landed in New York in 1835 [9]
  • Andrew Gibbs, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1841 [9]
  • Mrs. Gibbs, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Gibbs migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Gibbs Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Edw Gibbs, who arrived in Quebec in 1784
Gibbs Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • John Corenelius Gibbs, aged 35, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship "Margaret" from London, England
  • Patrick Gibbs, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1843
  • Mr. Frances Gibbs, aged 1 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Virgilia" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle on August 25th, 1847 [10]
  • Henry Gibbs, who arrived in Esquimalt, British Columbia in 1862
  • Charles B Gibbs, who landed in Esquimalt, British Columbia in 1862
Gibbs Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • Miss A Gibbs, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1907

Australia Gibbs migration to Australia +

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

Gibbs Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Miss Kezia Kerenhappuck Gibbs, (b. 1808), aged 25, English maid who was convicted in Oxford, Oxfordshire, England for life for robbery, transported aboard the "Buffalo" on 4th May 1833, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, she died in 1887 [11]
  • Mr. John Gibbs, (b. 1822), aged 17, English convict who was convicted in Somerset, England for 15 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Canton" on 20th September 1839, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [12]
  • John Gibbs, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Moffatt" in 1839 [13]
  • Margaret Gibbs, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Moffatt" in 1839 [13]
  • Haziah Gibbs, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Moffatt" in 1839 [13]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Gibbs 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:

  • Miss Elizabeth Gibbs, (b.1844), aged 30, Cornish servant departing on 2nd May 1874 aboard the ship "Peter Denny" going to Bluff or Otago, New Zealand arriving in port on 26th July 1874 [14]
Gibbs Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • James Gibbs, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Bombay
  • James Gibbs, aged 29, a cabinet maker, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Arab" in 1841
  • Charlotte Gibbs, aged 22, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Arab" in 1841
  • Isaac Gibbs, who landed in Nelson, New Zealand in 1842 aboard the ship Bolton
  • James Gibbs, who landed in Nelson, New Zealand in 1842 aboard the ship "Bolton"
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Gibbs 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. [15]
Gibbs Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Mary Gibbs, who landed in Jamaica in 1684 [9]

Contemporary Notables of the name Gibbs (post 1700) +

  • Drew Gibbs (1962-2021), American football head coach of the Kean University Cougars during the 1989 season, where he compiled a record of 3–7, inducted into the New Jersey Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2014
  • Leonard William "Doc" Gibbs Jr. (1948-2021), American percussionist who toured with artists such as Anita Baker, Whitney Houston, Bob James, Ricki Lee Jones, Al Jarreau, Grover Washington, Jr., and many more
  • Jonathan Clarkson Gibbs II (1821-1874), American Presbyterian minister and a prominent officeholder during Reconstruction, the 1st Black Secretary of State and Superintendent of Public Instruction of Florida
  • Timothy Gibbs (b. 1967), American Emmy Award nominated director, actor, producer, and screenwriter
  • Robert Lane Gibbs (1971-2009), American politician, 28th White House Press Secretary (2009-2011)
  • Oliver Wolcott Gibbs (1822-1908), American chemist, best known for performing the first electrogravimetric analyses
  • Marla Gibbs (b. 1931), five-time Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award nominee
  • George Gibbs (1815-1873), American geologist and ethnologist
  • William Francis Gibbs (1886-1967), American naval architect and marine engineer, designer of the ocean liner SS United States
  • Augustus Gibbs, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Livingston County, 1841 [16]
  • ... (Another 86 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Air New Zealand Flight 901
  • Mrs. Brucie Gibbs (1901-1979), New Zealander passenger, from Wellington, North Island, New Zealand aboard the Air New Zealand Flight 901 for an Antarctic sightseeing flight when it flew into Mount Erebus; he died in the crash [17]
Fraterville mine
  • Mr. Frank Gibbs, African Welsh coal miner at Fraterville mine in Tennessee, on the 19th May 1902 when an explosion collapsed the mine; he died [18]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Charles W E Gibbs (b. 1920), English Leading Signalman serving for the Royal Navy from Chertsey, Surrey, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [19]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Edward George Gibbs, British Marine, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and died in the sinking [20]
  • Mr. Colin Gibbs, British Musician, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [20]
  • Mr. Colin Gibbs, British Marine, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [20]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. George Gibbs, British Boy 1st Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and died in the sinking [21]
  • Mr. William A Gibbs, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [21]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Athur R.F. Gibbs, British Blacksmith with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he survived the sinking [22]


The Gibbs Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Tenax propositi
Motto Translation: Firm of purpose.


Suggested Readings for the name Gibbs +

  • Gibbs-Chilton-Evans: Families of Rockingham County, North Carolina by Lizora Powell Harbour.
  • The Gibbs Family History and Their Relatives of the Olden Times by Vernon Lee Gibbs.

  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  6. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  7. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  8. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  9. ^ 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)
  10. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 30)
  11. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 3rd November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/buffalo
  12. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th December 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/canton
  13. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) MOFFATT 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Moffatt.htm
  14. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to other ports, 1872 - 84 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/new_zealand_assisted.pdf
  15. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  16. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 3) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  17. ^ Mount Erebus, Memorial, Roll of Remembrance (Retrieved 2018, February 21st). Retrieved from http://www.erebus.co.nz/memorialandawards/rollofremembrance.aspx
  18. ^ News paper article Fraterville Mine Disaster retrieved on 6th August 2021. (Retrieved from http://www.tn.gov/tsla/exhibits/disasters/fraterville.htm).
  19. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  20. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  21. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  22. ^ 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


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