Recorded as Gilbert and the patronymic Gilbertson, this is an English surname, but one recorded throughout the British Isles. It is of Norman-French and even earlier pre 7th century Germanic origins. It derives from the personal name variously spelt as Gislebert, Guilbert or Gilebert. However spelt it is a compound with the elements "gisil", meaning a noble youth, and "berht", bright or famous. It is first recorded in England in the famous Domesday Book of 1086 and in the Latinized form of Gislebertus, and appears as a surname in the early 13th century (see below).
The given name as Gilbert was very popular in medieval England, partly owing to the fame of St. Gilbert of Sempringham, (1086 - 1189), and the founder of the only native English monastic order.
This unusual name is a dialectual variant of the name Goodson, of English origin. There are two possible derivations of this name, both of which have the same meaning. The first, chiefly found in East Anglia and the East Midlands is a nickname surname for a dutiful son from the Middle English "gode", good, and "sune", son. The second derivation is from a medieval survival of an Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Godsunu", composed of the elements "god", good and "suinu", son. In the modern idiom the variants include Guterson, Godson. One Elizabeth Gutherson married John Searson on 16th May 1848 at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster.
This very unusual surname, one of the most interesting listed anywhere, is English. First recorded in the 13th century, and now found as Gotobed and Gotbed, over the seven centuries since its "creation" in early medieval times, it has undergone many changes. The meaning is uncertain. The late Professor Reaney, the acknowledged authority on English surnames, gives the meaning as "what it says". From this we deduce that he meant that beds were such rare things in ancient times, that to have one, was a matter of local comment to the point where the person concerned was named from this piece of furniture. Certainly early nicknames were bestowed for much less reason than this. However it also has to be said that the medieval period was renowned for its Chaucerian humour which was almost always direct, and often obscene. This might imply that the first known nameholder one John Gotobedde of Barnwell, Cambridge, in 1269, had other uses for his bed! The trouble with almost all nickname surnames, is that without actually being present when the name was given out, it is impossible to be absolutely certain of the true meaning. Other early recordings include William Gawtobedde of Sussex in 1332, and John Godbed of London, in 1760.
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Recorded in the spellings of Green and Greene, this is one of the most widespread of English, and sometimes Irish, surnames. It is usually of pre 7th century origins, and derives from the word "grene" meaning green. As such it may be topographical for a person resident by a village green or even a place called Green, or as a status name for a young man who played the part of the mystic and fertile "Green Man" sometimes known as "Jack in the Green", in the May Day fertility celebrations. In this context "green" was symbolic of youthful ardour, spring, and the re-growth of nature. Sometimes the surname can be of Irish origins, and a translation of the ancient Gaelic given name "Uaithne". As this also means "green," it probably has the same basic meaning and origin as the English form. Examples of the early recordings taken from authentic rolls, registers and charters of the Middle Ages, include Richard de la Grene of the county of Norfolk in the year 1200; William Grene in the Hundred Rolls of Yorkshire in 1230; Robert Othegreen, and Henry on the Green, both of Worcestershire, in 1274. Among the many distinguished namebearers listed in the "Dictionary of National Biography" are Charles Green (1785 - 1870), an early aeronaut, who made the first ascent with a hydrogen gas balloon in 1821. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Geoffrey de Grene. This was dated 1188, in the "Pipe Rolls" of the county of Kent", during the reign of King Henry 11 of England. He was known as "The Builder of Churches". 1154 - 1189.
The Waddelow Society is a non profit Family History Group, established in 1988, interested in reasearching the Waddelow/Wadlow name.
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