Gifford / Family History
The ancient origin of the name Gifford
was found in the irishsurnames.com archives. This sept came from East Lothian in Scotland.
A sept or clan is a collective term describing a group of persons whose immediate ancestors bore a common surname and inhabited the same territory. It is also the case that many Irish septs or clans that are related often belong to a larger groups, sometimes called tribes. For example the 'Tribes of Galway' consisted of fourteen distinct families. The 'Tribes of Kilkenny' were ten families, etc.
This name is derived from the personal appearance of the first bearer, one who is rotund and rubicund. Sir Hugh Gifford settled in East Lothian in the reign of David I, before 1153, but the earliest charter in the family archives at Yester House is one by William the Lion dated 1186 confirming Sir Hugh in possession of estates granted him by Malcolm IV. In 1250 a mandate was directed to the Bishops of Saint Andrews and Dunkeld to assign to Richard called 'Giffard', 400 marks out of the redemption of Crusaders vows and legacies. The village of Gifford in East Lothian was named from this great family. In Ireland Gifford and MacGifford were introduced into Ulster Province by settlers from Scotland, especially during the seventeenth century.The Gifford
family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Gifford