1. English (Norman), French, and Low German: from Gislebert, a Norman personal name composed of the Germanic elements gīsil hostage, noble youth + berht bright, famous. This given name enjoyed considerable popularity in England during the Middle Ages, partly as a result of the fame of St Gilbert of Sempringham (1085-1189), the founder of the only native English monastic order. This at one time had over twenty houses, but became extinct on the Dissolution of the Monasteries. 2. Scots and Irish: Anglicized form of Kilbride. 3. Jewish (Ashkenazic): Anglicization of one or more like-sounding Jewish surnames.
Variants (of 1): English: Gilberd, Gilbart, Gilbeart, Gilard, Gillbard, Gilburt, Gilburd, Gilbird, Gelbert; Jelbert, Jelbart (Devon and Cornwall). French: Gilibert, Gibert, Gilabert. Low German: Giesebrecht, Gelbert; Schilbert (Rhineland).
Cognates (of 1): Italian: Giliberti. Catalan: Gilabert, Gelabert; Gisbert, Gispert. German: Geiselbrecht, Geisselbrecht, Gelbrecht, Gilbrecht, Gilbracht. Flemish: Gyselbrecht, Ghillebaert.
Diminutives (of 1): English: Gibb, Gibbon, Gilby. French: Gibertin, Gilbertin, Giberton, Gilberton, Gilbon, Gilbain. German: Geisel, Geissel, Geipel, Geippel, Geipelt. Low German: Gies, Giesel, Gieselmann, Gissel, Gese, Giese, Geseche, Giesecke, Gesche, Gibbe. Flemish: Ghys. Danish: Giese.
Patronymics (from 1): English: Gilbertson. Low German: Gisbertz, Gilbertz, Gilbers, Gilberts. Flemish: Gyselbrechts. Dutch: Gijsbers.
Patronymics (from 1) (diminutive): Low German: Gesen, Geschen (Latinized Gesenius), Giesges, Gibbels, Gibbens. Flemish: Ghysen, Ghyselen. Dutch: Gijsen, Gijzen.
The Devon family of Gilbert can be traced to Geoffrey Gilbert (died 1349), who represented Totnes in Parliament in 1326. His descendants included Sir Humphrey Gilbert (died 1583), who discovered Newfoundland. The librettist W. S. Gilbert (1836-1911), author of the Savoy operas, also claimed to be a descendant. Another family called Gilbert have been established in Wigston Magna LEI, since at least the 14th century.
Gilbert in my family tree
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