gift (verb). Despite its antiquity (first recorded in the 16th c.) and its frequent use, esp. Scottish writers, since then, it has fallen out of favour among standard speakers in England, and is best avoided. On the other hand, gifted [as in] 'talented' (a gifted violinist) is standard. (p. 330)
This doesn't exactly answer the question as to where is comes from, but we have not yet acquired the big OED (in several volumes) that specifically discusses origins. My answer does tell us that you probably won't see the use of "gift" as a verb much in America, but may see it in England, mostly in older publications.