This most interesting surname, with variant spellings Habbersham, Habbeshaw, Habishaw and Harbisher derives from two possible sources. Firstly, it may come from the old French word "Herbergeor", which is a derivative of the old French "Herbege", meaning host or lodging-house keeper. Secondly, the surname may be a metonymic occupational name for a maker of hauberks or coats of mail, from the old French word "Haubergeon", of Germanic origin composed of "neck" and "protection". The surname itself first appeared in the late 12th Century (see below).One William le Haubergier was recorded in the Pipe Rolls of Northumberland in 1201, while the Hundred Rolls of London mentions a Reginald le Hauberge in 1275, and Reginald le Haberge appeared in the Calendar of Letter Books of the city of London in 1281. Samuel, son of Thomas and Diana Habshaw was christened on June 24th 1792 at St. Leonard's, Shoreditch London while Frances Habshaw was christened at St. Matthew, Bethnal Green London on July 5th 1795. Joseph Habbishaw married Ann Greaves on March 14th 1816 at St. Giles, Camberwell, Surrey. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Edric (le) Harberg(e)or, which was dated 1184, in the Pipe Rolls of Worcestershire, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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