This unusual name is one of the medieval English diminutive forms of the male personal name "Jeffrey", which was introduced into England by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066. The name was adopted by the Normans from an Old Germanic name usually Latinized as "Galfridus" or "Gaufridus", and composed of the elements "gala" to sing, or "gawi", region, territory, with "frid, frithu", peace. The Norman forms (Old French) were "Geuffron", "Jeufroi", and "Jefroi", which became in Middle English "Geffrey", and generated a wide variety of surnames, including the diminutive forms Jebb, Jepp(e), Gebb, Gepp and Jeff(e). One Lucas Jebbe is recorded in the 1508 Register of the Freeman of the City of York. The marriage of Mychaell Jebb and Amye Cooper was recorded at St. Nicholas Cole Abbey, London, on July 14th 1590. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Gebbe, which was dated 1327, in the "Suffolk Subsidy Rolls", during the reign of King Edward 11, known as "Edward of Caernafon", 1307 - 1327. 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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