This very rare surname spelling is a variant derivative of the medieval "Hobb" - itself a nickname of the Anglo-Saxon and crusader personal name "Robert". The development of this type of surname is one of the great mysteries of the early surname period, but the explanation is based upon the "closed" village life of the 11th to 16th Century. In some villages it is recorded that the entire male population had the same name (often John-hence Jones), and "nicknames" became essential to distinguish the "John's". In this case the variants were Robert to Rob to Hob or Hobbe. One, Osbert Hobbe being recorded in the Pipe Rolls of Rutland (now extinct county) in 1204, and Ralfe Hobbe in 1230 Warwick. From these developed the patronymic Hobson or diminutive genitive "little Hobb" as in Hobbis or Hubbis. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Agnes Hobbis, which was dated 1279, The Hundred Rolls of Huntingdonshire, during the reign of King Edward 1, "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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