This interesting surname is a metonymic occupational name for the keeper or a lodging house. The derivation is from the Old French "herberge" meaning hostel, shelter or the Old English pre 7th Century "herebeorg", composed of the elements "here" meaning army plus "beorg" a shelter. The surname is first recorded in the latter half of the 12th Century (see below). One, Thomas le Harbergur, appears in the 1198, Pipe Rolls of Sussex and William le Herbejour, is noted in the 1298 "Calendar of Inquisitiones post mortem", Derbyshire. In the modern idiom the surname has many variant spellings including Harback, Herbage, Harbage, Harbidge, etc.. Recordings of the surname from the London church registers include; Henry, son of Henry and Ann Harbach, who was christened on October 5th 1757, at St. Olave, Southwark; the marriage of Elizabeth Harbach and Jacob Beverstock took place on April 4th 1768, at the same place; Ann Elizabeth, daughter of Henry and Catharine Harbach, was also christened at St. Olave's on April 18th 1770; and Nabay Harbach married Thomas Orchard on February 14th 1784, at St. Bride Fleet Street. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Edric le Herbergor, 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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