This interesting and unusual surname, particularly well recorded in church registers of south west England, under the variant spellings Gim(b)let, Gem(b)lett, Gym(b)lett, etc., has two possible origins. Firstly, it may be a diminutive form of the old Scandinavian personal byname Gamal meaning "old", recorded without surname in the Domesday Book of 1086. One, Adam Gamel appears in the 1202, "Assize Court Rolls of Lincolnshire" and a Jordan Gambel in the "Ministers Accounts of the Earldom of Cornwall", dated 1297. The latter entry shows an intrusive "b", and interchange of the initial vowel would render such forms as "Gembel", "Gimbel" and "Gymbel". With the addition of the diminutive suffix "et(t)". The name becomes Gemblett, Gimblett etc., Gimblett's Mill, a locality in the rural district of Launcenston, Cornwall, was originally owned by one called Gimblett, and the surname may also be locational from this place. On January 8th 1625 Matthewe Gimblett, an infant, was christened in Kenwyn, Cornwall and on July 17th 1666 the christening of Thomas Gimblett took place in St. Mary's, Plymouth, Devon. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Fraunces Gymblett, (christening), which was dated July 17th 1608, Kenwyn, Cornwall, during the reign of King James 1, of England and V1 of Scotland, 1603 - 1625. 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.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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