This surname is of Old Gaelic origin, and is a variant of "Cribben", which itself is the Anglicized form of the Gaelic name "MacRoibin
", meaning "son of (mac) Robin", a patronymic from the Anglo-Norman French given name "Robin". Robin
itself is composed of "Rob
", a diminutive of "Robert
", and the hypocoristic suffix "-in".
Modern variants of the surname include Cribbins
The surname itself is now widespread in the north-eastern counties of Ulster, and has long been on record in Counties Down and Armagh as "O'Gribben
occur in the Fiants from 1566 - 1573 in Counties Louth, Carlow and Wexford. O'Gribbin
appears in the Co. Armagh Hearth Money Rolls of 1664 - 1665, as does MacGribben
, and two Gaelic scribes of some note, recorded in the 17th and 18th Centuries were O'Gribins
from Co. Down.
In 1866 there were forty-seven births registered for Gribben, and Gribbon, all but two occurred in Ulster. Matthew
Gribben, aged 35 yrs., a farmer, emigrated from Newry for New York during the Famine, on April 23rd 1846, aboard the "Brothers", with his wife, Betty
, aged 30 yrs.
The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of MacRoben
(no known personal name), which was dated circa 1566, in the "Irish Fiants".