Recorded in various spellings including Babb, Bebb, Bibb, and the diminutives Bebbell, Beeble, Bibbin and Bibbins, this interesting and unusual surname is English. It derives from either of two Old English pre 7th Century female personal names Babbe or Bebbe, found in several placenames, such as Babbacombe in Devonshire, recorded as Babbecumbe circa 1200; Babthorpe in Yorkshire, appearing as Babetorp in the Domesday Book of 1086, and Bebbington in Cheshire, noted in the Chester City Rolls of 1100 as Bebinton. The meaning of the name is uncertain, and is thought to be a "nursery" version of Barbara, from the Greek "barbados", foreign or stranger. Early examples of church register recordings taken from surviving registers of the city of London include Ralphe Bebbell, Christened at Christ Church, Greyfriars, on September 25th 1575, Jane Bebb and Thomas Hall, who were married at St. Dunstan's church, Stepney, on February 7th 1633, Johannes Beeble christened at St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on April 18th 1667, and Abigale Bibbins, christened at St Brides church, Fleet Street, on August 14th 1689. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Alvinius Bebb. This was in the court rolls of the county of Suffolk, and dated 1198, during the reign of King Richard 1st, known as "Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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