This interesting and unusual surname is of French origin, and is a dialectal variant of the name Hasbbeshaw, itself a metonymic occupational name for a maker of coats of chain mail. The derivation is from the Old French, Middle English 'haubergeon', a diminutive of 'hauberc', a word of Germanic origin, composed of elements meaning 'neck' and 'protection', and having the overall meaning of a coat of mail or a mail jerkin. However, when these garments fell out of use, the name was altered by folk etymology to create many variants, for example, Habbershon, Haversham and Habberjam. Among recordings in Kent is the christening of one James Ebbage on February 24th 1805 at St. Mary's, Lewisham, and in Manchester Cathedral, Lancashire, on July 25th 1849, the marriage of Hardesty Ebbage and James Forrest. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Margaret Ebidge (marriage to Rober Stalworthy), which was dated 1597, Newton Flotman, Norfolk, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, 'Good Queen Bess', 1558 - 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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