Recorded in many forms as shown below, this is an English medieval surname. It is a patronymic from the medieval personal name "Dobbe", which is itself a pet form of Robert, from "Hrodebert", a pre 7th century Germanic personal name. This was composed of the elements "hrod", renown and "berht", bright, famous. Robert, though found in England before the Norman Conquest, became more widespread among all classes of society afterwards. Dobb itself is a popular surname in the North of England and the Midlands.Examples of the spellings include: Dobson, Dobbson, Dobeson, Dobbins, Dobbings, Dobbinson, Dobbison and Dobbieson. The surname is also found fairly widespread in County Leitrim, Ireland, probably as a result of the influx of early English settlers into the country. Early examples of the surname recording include Roger Dobbessone, who appeared in the "Enforcement of the Statutes of Labourers, 1349 - 1359", in the county of Cheshire, whilst William Dobson (1610 - 1646), was introduced to Charles 1st by Vandyck, and was one of the earliest English subject and portrait painters of eminence. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry Dobbesone. This was dated 1327, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire", during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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