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Author Topic: Help needed with dates and also Old English  (Read 6779 times)

Jayson

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Help needed with dates and also Old English
« on: November 17, 2010, 05:53:47 PM »
We've just come back from a few days at a fantastic Elizabethan Manor Hotel in Devon.    It's a place we've been to twice before but this is the first time I've read through their large Hotel Book which includes the history not only of the Manor itself but of the tiny village in which it stands:  Gittisham.

I'm pretty sure the dates and also the derivation of the name are wrong but before giving my ideas to the delightful people who run it, I want to make absolutely sure, so I'm therefore contacting you, the experts.

Quoting from the sheet in the Book:


"About sixty years after the birth of Christ, the Romans,completing their occupation of the country......"


Well, OK, they invaded in 55 AD,so I suppose they would be 'completing'  their occupation, but then  it says:



"Some 600 years later, they left the country and the Celtic inhabitants....could put little effective opposition to our next invaders, the fierce and formidable Saxons."



I believe I'm right in saying that the Romans left between  410 AD and  450 AD and  that some Saxons were already here as mercenaries, overseen by the Roman 'Count of the Saxon Shore   --  ?  It was after the withdrawal of the Romans that the Saxons, Angles and Jutes gradually brought their families over and settled in various parts of the country.


"{The Saxon} occupation of East Devon was completed about the year 670 AD ..."


Would  you know about what time Devon became Saxon???


Then there is the explanation of the name 'Gittisham', which I believe is completely wrong:


"We shall never know for certain why it was called Gittisham, but the most probable theory advanced is that it comes from three Saxon words, Guidh (a wood), Ys (water) and Ham (a place)."

I would have said that it was simply 'Gitty's Homestead"

What do you think?



Sonya
Wessex Woman

peter horn

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Re: Help needed with dates and also Old English
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2010, 02:56:57 PM »
Yes, I think  you are right about the roman dates.
Meaning of place-names-you need to find out the earlier and specifically earliest known form of the name.
sometimes the final form bears little resemblance to the earliest form.

Ic ∂ær ær wæs
Ic ∂æt ær dyde

John Nicholas Cross

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Re: Help needed with dates and also Old English
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2010, 06:25:34 PM »
The Romans invaded in 43AD, not 55 AD.  I think Devon became Saxon a little later than you suggest, I think after the end of the reign of king Ine in 726AD.  He probably conquered Somerset from the Damnonian British (Celts).  I'll look into Devon further.   John.

Jayson

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Re: Help needed with dates and also Old English
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2010, 07:28:18 PM »
---thanks both.   Peter:  according to Maplandia, Gittisham was its 'original' name, although it doesn't say how far back that goes.   However, it does sound 'original' to me, and Gittis would make sense as the possessive of Gitti, if that were a proper name.   Anyone heard of it or anything similar?
Wessex Woman

Jayson

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Re: Help needed with dates and also Old English
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2010, 11:43:36 AM »
Hello John Nicholas  --  of course you are right about the dates!   I was getting the 55 AD mixed up with Cesar's aborted conquest BC.
Wessex Woman

Linden

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Re: Help needed with dates and also Old English
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2010, 01:49:39 PM »
..............  Gittisham.
.......................I would have said that it was simply 'Gitty's Homestead"
What do you think?

Hi Sonya
When people do not answer in one category, it is unlikely that putting the same question into another category is going to work - it's possibly that they just do not have the information you require to hand.  I have therefore deleted your repeat question in the "language" category as there is no point in having the same question repeated there.
I would suggest that 'Maplandia' is not a good resource for looking at the origins of place names.  The 'British History Online' site is usually a good site re place names and from that one learns that 'Gittisham' was 'Gidesham' in the Domesday book.  (As the site is huge, I usually resort to typing in the placename that I am looking for and "British History Online" and then going through the Google results for the ones that are useful.)
I did find a bit of time today to track down this for you:-
From
http://www.surnamedb.com/Surname/Getsham
Getsham
This unusual name is from an English, specifically Devonshire, locational source, from the placename "Gittisham" in Devonshire. The placename is first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Gidesham" and in the Fees Court Books of 1242 as "Giddesham". The meaning is "Gyddi's village", from the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Gyddiu" or "Gydda" plus "ham", meaning, variously, "village", "estate", "manor" or "homestead", but usually with early recordings, village.
(I am no expert on surnames or the credibility of this information - but it looks worth checking out)

The only outstanding curious fact is that, at the time of Domesday, the place appears to have been held by a chap called 'Gotshelm'.  As this is fairly close in the way it sounds to "Gidesham/Gydysham", I would be tempted, if I had time, to liaise with people researching the surname 'Getsham' to see whether there is any connection.
Hope this helps
Linden
Cræft biþ betere ðonne æhta

Jayson

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Re: Help needed with dates and also Old English
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2010, 06:03:27 PM »
----thanks so much, Linden!   That's really comprehensive and you've given me a new web site to investigate as well.   I've passed the site address and more details on to the managers of the Hotel which is Coome House Hotel in Devon (http://www.combehousedevon.com/) and quite the best hotel I've ever been to  --  might as well give it a plug!
Wessex Woman