ARE BIBBYS DESCENDENTS OF THE VIKINGS?
I have been researching my family history for many years now and have become interested in the origins of the Bibby surname. The official view is that it was created from a pet name for Isabel but doubt has been raised because Isabel is probably of French or Latin derivation and the French invaded the South of England whereas the majority of Bibbys appear to originate from Lancashire and there are very few south of London.
Upon learning about Scandinavian Vikings invading the North West of England and North Wales and Eastern Ireland and observing that Bibbys were concentrated around these areas I began to suspect that Bibby, at least in the North, was of Scandinavian origin. I have been informed that Bebbe is a Christian name in Scandinavia and Bebbe is one of the variants of Bibby. Bibbys in the South may be migrants from the North or may have been named as in the official view. The Scandinavians originally settled in Ireland but were kicked out in 902AD and then settled in The Wirral from where they spread across Lancashire and North Wales. The websites www.nottingham.ac.uk/~sczsteve/Nytt_trans.doc and www.nottingham.ac.uk/~sczsteve are very interesting on this subject.
You may have seen the program on TV about how DNA testing has shown that early people migrated originally from East Africa, northwards into Europe, then eastwards and westwards. 902AD is well before surnames were invented so the only way to tell if Bibbys are of Scandinavian origin is through DNA testing. Hence I jumped at the opportunity, when it presented itself, of having my DNA tested for free for a Viking research project. I have just received my results which suggest that my paternal origins, about 1000 years ago, could be in the Dresden area of Germany, which was quite a surprise.
A database exists containing about 75,000 DNA tests on males worldwide (www.yhrd.org), which at the moment is a very small sample of the world’s population, and my DNA has been compared to this. My results show that there are very few people with my DNA type and they can be found mostly in Central Germany but also in France, Spain, Norway (!), the USA, and Korea. France and Spain suggest that the Isabel theory may be correct; The USA suggests recent European immigrants; Norway and Korea possibly suggests very recent German or English ‘activity’ in those regions, during WW2 perhaps!
It is, therefore, plausible that people, living in what is now known as Germany, with my ‘type’ migrated to Norway, France and Spain and then to England. It’s also possible that Vikings with my ‘type’ originated in Norway and later settled in England, France, Spain and Central Germany where they flourished more than in Norway. Furthermore, it’s interesting that my DNA type (I2b) is a sub-group of type I which is considered to be a signature DNA type for the invading Vikings.
However, it’s also possible that I may not be a true Bibby, for example if one (or more) of my paternal ancestors was adopted or illegitimate. Many Bibbys from unconnected families would have to have their DNA tested to discover where true Bibbys originated from. If you are a male Bibby or if you know a male Bibby and you would like to help me to research this further then do arrange a DNA test and let me know the results. Check out www.ancestry.com to get a DNA test for $79. Alternatively, I could ask the Viking research people if they would be willing to do a batch of free testing for us. If I get enough response I will publish the results.