This uncommon name is ultimately of Old Germanic origin, and is one of the surnames generated by the Old German male personal name "Herebert, Hariberct", composed of the elements "heri, hari", army, with "berht", bright, famous. This name was adopted by the Normans, who introduced it into England in the Old French form of "Herbert"; in Britain this Old French name reinforced the less common Olde English form "Herebeorht". The personal name is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Herbertus" and "Hereberd", while the first recording of the surname from this source is that of William Herebert, in the 1206 Dorset Pipe Rolls. That the personal name was a popular one can be seen by the number of variant forms of hereditary surnames that it generated; these range from Herbert, Herbit and Hebbert, to Hebbard, Hebard, Harberd, Harbird and Harbord. Examples of the name from Church Registers include: the marriage of Joan Hebbard and John Rickman at St. Mary Magdalene, Canterbury, Kent, on July 12th 1585, and the christening of Elizabeth, daughter of John Hebbard, on May 17th 1678, at St. Martin in the Fields, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry Heberd, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire", 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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