This unusual surname is of early medieval English origins. Recorded in the spellings of Ebb or Epp, and the patronymics Ebbson, Ebbison, Epps, Ephson, Eppson, Epperson and possibly others, it derives from a short form of either the female personal name "Isabella", or the masculine name "Herbert". "Isabel(la)" is a variant of "Elizabeth" which in its original hebraic form, "Elisheva", meant "my God is my oath", and generated a number of variant personal forms such as "Ebbe" or "Ibb" and thence Ebbet, Ibbot, and Ibbotson. Where the modern surname is derived from "Herbert", the origin is Germanic from a personal name introduced into England by the Normans and composed of the elements "heri" meaning "army", and the suffix "berht", bright or famous. Where it occurs the suffix "s" is the short patronymic form, meaning "son of ". Early examples of the surname recordings taken from authentic church and charter registers include Thomas Ebson in the 1379 Poll Tax rolls for Yorkshire, Thomas Eppes of Romsey, in 1584, and Elisa Eppison, at St James church, Clerkenwell, London, in 1607. The first known recording of the family name in any spelling is believed to be that of Alica Ebbe, which was dated 1296, in the Subsidy Rolls of the county of Sussex. This was during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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