This unusual surname is apparently of early Anglo-Saxon origins. It was originally a popular given name which comprised the elements "hadu" (battle), plus "berht" (famous), a form and style very popular with the pre 10th Century English tribesmen. In Germany the name developed into the surnames Habbrecht and Happert, whilst in England the name was shortened to "Habb", plus the patronymic or diminutive "-kin". The origin is probably pre 7th Century, although as a surname it is much later. The name has long been recorded in England in forms such as Habden, Habbin, Habin and Habbon, examples of these recordings from English Church Registers include the following: John Habbin and his wife, Sarah, witnesses at the christening of their daughter, Margaret, at St.Dunstan's in the East, Stepney, London, on February 1st 1712; James Habbin, who married Ann Knight at St. Clement Danes, Westminster, London, on September 14th 1794; whilst earlier, on February 17th 1669, at St. Mary's, Woodbridge, Suffolk, James Habbins (the very rare plural form) was recorded as a witness at the christening of his son, John Habbins. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Joyce Haben, which was dated July 25th 1617, marriage to Elias Clawson, at the Church of St. Gregory and St. Paul, London, during the reign of King James 1 of England and V1 of Scotland, 1603 - 1625. 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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