Recorded in many forms including Annable, Hannibal, Honeyball, Honeybell, Honniball, Honniebal, Honiball and Hunnibal, this is an English surname. It is believed to have at least two possible origins. Firstly it may be either from "Hunnbald," a Germanic (Anglo-Saxon) male personal name of the pre 7th century. This was composed of the elements "hunn", meaning a bear cub, and "bald", bold and brave or from Hanniball, the name of the famous Carthaginian general who crossed the Alps to defeat the Romans, Mathew Hanybal being recorded in the Close Rolls of King Henry 111rd in 1266. Secondly it may derive from the French female given name, "Annabella", a name introduced into Britain by the Norman invaders of 1066. If the later then this was originally a metronymic, that is to say a name taken by a son from his mother, perhaps because she was a land owner in her own right. A definate example of the surname from this source was Simon Annable, the vicar of Hemlington in Norfolk, in 1401. Thomas Hannyball is recorded in the register of the university of Oxford in 1513, whilst John Anyable appears in the Subsidy Rolls of the county of Suffolk in 1568, with Simon Honeyball recorded in the church registers, also of Suffolk, in 1792. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Mathew Hanybal, which was dated 1255, in the Close Rolls, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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