This most interesting surname is an Ashkenazic variant of "Jacob", itself coming from the Latin name "Jacobus", from the Hebrew given name "Yaakov" (aqob) meaning "supplanter" or "following-after". In the bible Jacob was the name of the twin brother of Esau, who took advantage of the latter's hunger and impetuousness to persuade him to part with his birthright "for a mess of potage". The surname James shares the same origins. As a surname Jacobi first appears in records in the late 13th Century (see below). One William Jacob was recorded in the Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire in 1273 and William filius (son of) Jacobi was mentioned in the Hundred Rolls of Kent in 1273. Robertus filius Jacoby appears in the Subsidy Rolls of Yorkshire in 1297. Anthony and George, sons of John and Mary Jacobi, were christened at the church of St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, London on June 16th 1713, and March 10th 1715, respectively. Other modern spellings include Jacoby, Jacobson and Jacobs. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Jacoby, which was dated 1275, in the "Hundred Rolls of Norfolk", 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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