This interesting name of English medieval origin and widespread in Cheshire, is a dialectal variant of Dunbobbin, Dunrobin, composed of the elements, "Dun-" from the Old English "dunn", dark coloured or the Old English byname "Dunn(a)", and "Babin" or "Bobin", a pet name for Robin, hence the surname originally existed as a nickname for "Robin or Babin of the dark appearance". The surname itself is first recorded in church records in the 16th Century, (see below). William Dunbabin was christened at Frodsham in Cheshire on September 7th 1595. The christening of William, son of Richard Dunbabin, took place also at Frodsham on March 7th 1619, while early London church records include an Ellenor Dunbabyne who married Joseph Harcocke at St. Stephen's, Coleman Street, on August 7th 1623, and Mary, the daughter of Richard and Agnis Dunbavyn, was christened at St. Ann Blackfriars. The name is also found in the modern idiom as Dunbavin, Dunbavand, Dunbebin, Dunbevand and Donbavand. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ric Dunbabyn, married Margaret Modsley on, which was dated September 15th 1594, in the "Marriage licecences at Frodsham, Cheshire", during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1554 - 1603. 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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