This unusual name is of early medieval English origin, with the variants Epps, Eppson, Epperson, and Epp, and derives from a short or pet form of either the female personal name "Isabella", or the masculine personal 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 forms such as "Ebbe" or "Ibb" and thence "Ebbet" and "Ibbot". Where the modern surname of "Ebb(s)" or "Ebbes" is derived from "Herbert", the origin is Germanic from a personal name introduced into England by the Normans and composed of the elements "heri" or "hari", meaning "army", with "berht", bright, famous. The "s" of "Ebb(e)s" is the patronymic form, meaning "son of Ebb(e)". The surname is well recorded in London Church Registers from the mid 16th Century on: Thomas, son of Thomis Ebbs, was christened at St. Andrew's, Holborn, on November 10th 1577; William Ebbes and Jane Brodwater were married at St. Mary Magdalene, Bermondsey, on June 24th 1585; and Henrye, son of Thomas Ebbs, was christened on February 18th 1598, at St. Botolph without Aldgate. One Alexander Ebbs married Sisley Bray at St. Katherine's by the Tower, London on the 14th April 1614. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alica Relicta Ebbe, which was dated 1296,in the "Subsidy Rolls of Sussex", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "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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