Gittins History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Celtic name of Gittins 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."

Early Origins of the Gittins family

The surname Gittins was 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.

Early History of the Gittins family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gittins research. Another 119 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1405, 1402, 1405, 1676, 1697, 1676, 1697, 1585, 1652, 1615, 1685, 1674, 1709, 1698, 1765, 1725 and 1778 are included under the topic Early Gittins History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gittins Spelling Variations

There are relatively few surnames native to Wales, but they have an inordinately large number of spelling variations. Early variations of Welsh surnames can be explained by the fact that very few people in the early Middle Ages were literate. Priests and the few other literate people were responsible for recording names in official documents. And because most people could not specific how to properly record their names it was up to the individual recorder of that time to determine how a spoken name should be recorded. Variations due to the imprecise or improper recording of a name continued later in history when names originally composed in the Brythonic Celtic, language of Wales, known by natives as Cymraeg, were transliterated into English. Welsh names that were documented in English often changed dramatically since the native language of Wales, which was highly inflected, did not copy well. Occasionally, however, spelling variations were carried out according to an individual's specific design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations could be indicated by minor variations. The spelling variations of the name Gittins have included Gethin, Gethyn, Gethyns, Gethyng, Gethings, Gething, Gethinge, Getting, Gettings, Gittings, Gittens, Gittins, Gidding, Giddings, Gettins, Giddens, Giddins, Gidden, Giddens, Gettens, Gitting and many more.

Early Notables of the Gittins family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family during the late Middle Ages was Rhys Gethin (died 1405), key figure in the revolt of Owain Glyndwr, standard bearer and a leading general, took part in the crucial Welsh victory at the Battle of Bryn Glas (1402), led an army which captured several castles in South Wales, killed at either the Battle of Pwll Melyn or the Battle of Grosmont in 1405. Lady Grace Gethin (1676-1697), was...
Another 71 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gittins Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Gittins family to Ireland

Some of the Gittins family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 74 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Gittins migration to the United States +

Many Welsh families joined their Scottish and Irish neighbors during the late 1800s and early 1900s in seeking refuge in North America. Like the Irish and Scottish, many Welsh anxiously awaited the work, freedom, and opportunities that they believed lay in North America. Those who did journey over to the United States and what became known as Canada often realized those dreams, but only through much toil and perseverance. Whenever and however these Welsh immigrants arrived in North America, they were instrumental in the creation of the industry, commerce, and cultural heritage within those two developing nations. In the immigration and passenger lists a number of early immigrants bearing the name Gittins were found:

Gittins Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Jane Gittins, who arrived in Virginia in 1653 [1]
  • Eliz Gittins, who landed in Virginia in 1662 [1]

Australia Gittins migration to Australia +

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

Gittins Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Gittins, English convict who was convicted in Chatham, Kent, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Equestrian" on 25th January 1844, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Island) [2]
  • Miss Sarah Gittins, English convict who was convicted in Manchester, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Elizabeth and Henry" on 11th February 1848, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Gittins (post 1700) +

  • Robert H. Gittins (1869-1957), American lawyer, newspaper publisher and politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York (1913-1915)
  • Charles William Gittins (b. 1956), American lawyer, who has worked for a number of noteworthy defendants in military courts martial
  • Walter Gittins (1865-1890), English professional footballer who made 21 appearances in the Football Alliance playing for Small Heath (1889-1890)
  • Stephen "Steve" Gittins (1963-2013), English darts player from Shropshire who played twice at the BDO World Darts Championship
  • Rob Gittins, British television and radio writer, the longest-serving writer on EastEnders
  • Paul Gittins, New Zealand actor, known for playing Doctor Michael McKenna in Shortland Street
  • John C. Gittins, British professor and Emeritus Fellow at Keble College, Oxford University, awarded the Rollo Davidson Prize (1982) for early-career probabilists, and the Guy Medal in Silver (1984)
  • Philip Jeremy Gittins (b. 1956), English actor, best known for his role as the Vicar on the British sitcom Keeping Up Appearances
  • John Henry "Jack" Gittins (1893-1956), English footballer who played in the Football League for Barnsley and Chesterfield (1912-1927)
  • Chris Gittins (1902-1988), British character actor, best known for his role as Walter Gabriel in The Archers
  • ... (Another 2 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 4th May 2022). https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/equestrian
  3. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 15th March 2022). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/elizabeth-and-henry


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