This very interesting and unusual name, with variant spellings Dobb and Dobbe, derives from the medieval personal name "Dobbe", which is itself a pet form of "Robert", which was very popular in the 13th Century in Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cheshire and Staffordshire. The personal name was recorded in 1202 as "Dobbe" filius (son of) Inonis in the Assize Court Rolls of Lancashire, and one Dobbe de Deneby appeared in the Assize Court Rolls of Yorkshire in 1219. The "s" at the end of the surname indicates a patronymic, "son of" Dobb. The surname itself first appeared in the late 13th Century, (see below). One William Dobbe appeared in the Hundred Rolls of Norfolk in 1275, while the Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire mentioned a Robert Dobes in 1279. Notable name-bearers include Arthur Dobbs (1689-1765) represented Carrickfergus in the Irish Parliament, 1727-1730 and as Governor of North Carolina (1754-1765) upheld the royal prerogative and consulted the interests of Indians; and Francis Dobbs (1750-1811), a member for Charlemont in the Irish House of Commons 1799 and in a famous speech opposed the Union Bill with England on scriptural grounds. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Reginald Dobbe, which was dated 1275, the Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire, during the reign of King Edward 1, "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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