Origins of the surname Ibbitson

The family of Ann Kay nee Ibbitson: Australian migrant from Pannal, Yorkshire, England

Ann Ibbitson, wife of Abel Kay (1830-1897) lived in Yorkshire until 1858. In that year Ann sailed for Victoria, Australia with sons Abel and Charles, arriving in January 1859, where she rejoined her husband, who had travelled to Victoria in 1857.

Related information for Abel Kay and family can be found on the Kay pages.

This unusual and interesting surname, of early medieval English origin, is the diminutive form ("son of" or little) of Hibbs, itself a patronymic, from a diminutive of Hibbert, which derives from a Norman personal name, "Hil(de)bert", composed of the Germanic elements "hild", battle, and "berht" famous. However, Hibbs is also a metronymic (from the mother) form of a popular medieval female given name "Ibb", a pet form of Isabell(e), which originally came from the Hebrew "Elisheva", meaning "my God is my oath". This is one of a handful of surnames surviving which were derived from the name of the first bearer's mother. This is because European society has been patriarchal throughout history, and as a result the given name of the male head of the household has been handed on as a distinguishing name to successive generations. In the modern idiom the variants include Ibbs and Ibson, and the diminutive forms Ibbot(t)s, Ebbets, Ibbotson, Ibbetson, Ibbe(r)son and Ibbison. Recordings from London Church Registers include: the christening of Anne Ibbotson at St. James', Clerkenwell, on January 4th 1601, and the marriage of Frances Ibbotson and Henry de Rocquigny on May 13th 1764, at St. James', Westminster. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry Ibbotson, which was dated 1379, in the "Poll Tax Rolls of Yorkshire", during the reign of King Richard 11, known as "Richard of Bordeaux", 1377 - 1399. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling. --

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