From the Norman origin; it is English, French and North German. Originally it came fromÂ Giselbert and gisel, meaning promise, pledge and hostage.
As a Norman personal name it was composed of the Germanic elementsÂ gisilÂ which means â€˜pledgeâ€™, â€˜hostageâ€™, and â€˜noble youthâ€™. Add berht which means â€˜brightâ€™ and â€˜famous.â€™
Original spellings includedÂ Gislebert,Â GuilbertÂ andÂ Gilebert. Also from Gilbert comes the surname Gilbertson.
In England, St. Gilbert of Sempringham (from 1085 to 1189), was the founder of the only native English monastic order. The given name and surname became very popular in England for hundreds of years after wards.
Most Gilbert families are in the London area, but are also scattered in the northeast section of England. The counties of Lanarkshire and Midlothian in Scotland have many Gilbert families.
In the United States, the Gilbert surname is in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Texas, California and Georgia.
Most Gilbert families were farmers in the 1880s.
Famous: Alan Gilbert (Australian, President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Manchester), Alfred Gilbert (English sculptor and goldsmith), Sara Gilbert (actress), Walter Gilbert (American Nobel Prize winner in biology), Thomas Gilbert (19th century pioneer of Adelaide, South Australia), Robert Fitz Gilbert (Norman lord who participated in the Norman conquest of England of 1066), Melissa Gilbert (actress), Johnny Gilbert (TV announcer), Felix Gilbert (German-born American historian), Barrie Gilbert (English-born electronics engineer, inventor of the Gilbert cell) and Humphrey Gilbert (16th century English adventurer).