Show ContentsMcKibben History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname McKibben 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 McKibben is Mac Giobúin.

Early Origins of the McKibben family

The surname McKibben 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 McKibben family

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

McKibben Spelling Variations

Church officials and medieval scribes spelled names as they sounded; therefore, single person, could have his name spelt many different ways during their lifetime. While investigating the origins of the name McKibben, many spelling variations were encountered, including: Fitzgibbon, Fitzgibbons, MacGibbon, Gibbon, Gibbons, Gibben, Gibbens, Gibbin, Gibbins and many more.

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

McKibben Ranking

In the United States, the name McKibben is the 6,794th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [3]

United States McKibben migration to the United States +

Ireland went through one of the most devastating periods in its history with the arrival of the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s. Many also lost their lives from typhus, fever and dysentery. And poverty was the general rule as tenant farmers were often evicted because they could not pay the high rents. Emigration to North America gave hundreds of families a chance at a life where work, freedom, and land ownership were all possible. For those who made the long journey, it meant hope and survival. The Irish emigration to British North America and the United States opened up the gates of industry, commerce, education and the arts. Early immigration and passenger lists have shown many Irish people bearing the name McKibben:

McKibben Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James McKibben, who landed in New York in 1826 [4]
  • Joseph McKibben, aged 32, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1828 [4]
  • John McKibben, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1844 [4]
  • Moses McKibben, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1854 [4]
  • Samuel McKibben, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1861 [4]

Canada McKibben migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McKibben Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • John McKibben was recorded in Toronto in the census of 1871

New Zealand McKibben 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:

McKibben Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Hannah Mckibben, (b. 1858), aged 10 months, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Roman Emperor" arriving in Lyttlelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 26th January 1860 [5]
  • Mr. Hugh Mckibben, (b. 1834), aged 25, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Roman Emperor" arriving in Lyttlelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 26th January 1860 [5]
  • Mrs. Mary Mckibben, (b. 1838), aged 21, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Roman Emperor" arriving in Lyttlelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 26th January 1860 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name McKibben (post 1700) +

  • Larry McKibben (b. 1947), American politician, Member of the Iowa Senate from the 22nd district (1997-2008)
  • William Ernest "Bill" McKibben (b. 1960), American environmentalist, author and Schumann Distinguished Scholar at Middlebury College
  • Howard D. McKibben (b. 1940), American jurist, Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Nevada (1984–2005)
  • L.D. McKibben, U.S. Navy, shipfitter with the South Pole Station winter party in 1963, eponym of Mount McKibben, Antarctica
  • Ray McKibben (1946-1968), American soldier, Medal of Honor recipient for his actions in the Vietnam War
  • Chuck McKibben (b. 1947), American voice actor
  • Peggy McKibben, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Kansas, 1948 [6]
  • Frank R. McKibben, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Arkansas, 1892 [6]

Suggested Readings for the name McKibben +

  • The Descendants of William & Mary Simms by Vivian York Simms.

  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. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from
  6. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 8) . Retrieved from on Facebook