Recorded in the spellings of Feben and Weben, but possibly others as well, this is quite a rare Germanic surname. It would seem to be occupational, and as such to originate from the pre 7th century word "wefan" meaning to weave. If this is the case, and there seems to be few other alternatives, it is one of a major group of surnames of whom the most popular examples are Wefer and Wehber (German), and Weaver and Webber (English), all of which share the same "wefan" ancestry. Certainly the manufacture and supply of cloth and clothing was the major industry of the pre medieval period, and remained so for many centuries. The textile industry has been a fertile source of surnames, although in some cases, such as this one, it is not always easy to prove the line of development. What has to understood is that spelling to any standard of consistency, is a recent phenomena, and even in the past century, many "new" spellings of surnames have been created, usually by the literal slip of the pen. In this case early examples of the surname recording taken from surviving German church registers of the 18th century include: Johannes Michael Feben, who married Margaretha Schneein, at the Evangelist church, Bacharach, in the province of the Rheinland, on June 11th 1743, and Anna Maria Weben, who married Adam Herring at Bautzen Katholic church, Sachsen, on November 18th, coincidentally in the the same year.
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