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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

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

The Celtic name of Giddens was derived from the rugged landscape of Wales. This old, proud name is from the Welsh personal name Gethin. According to some experts, this forename is derived from the word "cethin," which means "dusky" or "dark."


Welsh surnames are relatively few in number, but they have an inordinately large number of spelling variations. There are many factors that explain the preponderance of Welsh variants, but the earliest is found during the Middle Ages when Welsh surnames came into use. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, which often resulted in a single person's name being inconsistently recorded over his lifetime. The transliteration of Welsh names into English also accounts for many of the spelling variations: the unique Brythonic Celtic language of the Welsh had many sounds the English language was incapable of accurately reproducing. It was also common for members of a same surname to change their names slightly, in order to signify a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations. For all of these reasons, the many spelling variations of particular Welsh names are very important. The surname Giddens has occasionally been spelled Gethin, Gethyn, Gethyns, Gethyng, Gethings, Gething, Gethinge, Getting, Gettings, Gittings, Gittens, Gittins, Gidding, Giddings, Gettins, Giddens, Giddins, Gidden, Giddens, Gettens, Gitting and many more.

First found in Cheshire, where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor near Malpas. The main stem of the family is said to be descended from David Goch, a Welsh chieftain, Lord of Penmachno of Fedwdeg. One of the oldest records of the name was Rhys Gethin (died 1405), Welsh standard bearer and a leading general in the revolt of Owain Glyndwr in which he led an army which captured several castles in South Wales; and later Ieuan Gethin ap Ieuan ap Lleision (fl. c. 1450) was a Welsh language poet and gentleman from Baglan, Glamorgan. A large number of his own poems remain in existence today.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Giddens research. Another 237 words(17 lines of text) covering the years 1405, 1402 and 1405 are included under the topic Early Giddens History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 119 words(8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Giddens Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Giddens family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 137 words(10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


The Welsh migration to North America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries contributed greatly to its rapid development. These migrants were in search of land, work, and freedom. Those Welsh families that survived the long ocean journey were critical to the development of new industries and factories, and to the quick settlement of land. They also added to an ever-growing rich cultural heritage. A search of the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Giddens:

Giddens Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Geo. Giddens, aged 36, who landed in America from Hereford, in 1892
  • Mrs. G. Giddens, aged 26, who emigrated to the United States, in 1893

Giddens Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • William Samuel Giddens, aged 23, who settled in America from Brantford, in 1904
  • George Giddens, aged 45, who landed in America from London, in 1906
  • Alfred C. Giddens, aged 31, who emigrated to the United States, in 1909
  • George G. Giddens, aged 45, who settled in America from London, England, in 1910
  • Katherine Giddens, aged 37, who landed in America from London, England, in 1911

Giddens Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century

  • Francis Giddens, aged 36, who arrived at Ottawa, Canada, in 1910

Giddens Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Charles Giddens, aged 18, arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Epaminondas"

Giddens Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • George Giddens, aged 4, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Martha Ridgeway" in 1840
  • William Giddens, aged 2, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Martha Ridgeway" in 1840


  • Rebecca Giddens (b. 1977), American Olympic slalom canoer
  • Kenneth R. Giddens (1908-1993), American architect and movie theater owner
  • Eric Giddens (b. 1973), American Olympic slalom canoer
  • Albert Lee Giddens (b. 1947), renowned Texas Trial lawyer
  • Justin Ray "J.R." Giddens (b. 1985), American professional basketball player
  • Rebecca Giddens (b. 1977), American gold, silver and bronze medalist slalom canoer
  • Don Giddens, Dean of the College of Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology (2002 to 2011)
  • Anthony Giddens (b. 1938), Baron Giddens, British sociologist and Emeritus Professor at the London School of Economics
  • Sam Giddens (b. 1984), New Zealand rugby union player


  • Genesis Four, We Bega.
  • : Giddens Family History by Emily Woodall-Ivey.

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  1. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  2. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  3. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  4. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  5. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  6. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  8. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  9. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  10. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  11. ...

The Giddens Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Giddens 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 20 June 2014 at 16:19.

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