Recorded in many spellings including Korb, Korba, Korber, Korbler, Kerbler, Kreber, Korf, Korfman, Kaufmann, Korfer, Korver, Corver, Korbel, Korbmaker, Korfmaker and Korfmakers, this is a surname of Germanic origins, which was also widely recorded in The Netherlands and Flanders. It derives from the ancient word 'corb', itself from the Roman (Latin) 'corbis' meaning a basket, and hence was either an occupational name for a basket merchant or maker, or may have been habitational and have described a person from a place called Korb or Corb, or from a house whose sign was a hanging basket. In the days before house numbering, houses were usually identified by a sign which originally described the occupation of the inhabitants, but in later times was simply a distinguishing sign. Perhaps not surprisingly, given the imnportance of the basket in ancient times, both as a household utensil and one of the principle means of moving goods and produce around the countryside, the surname is one of the earliest recorded with Waltherus de Chorbe of Ravensburg, Germany, in 1241, and Uolrich Korber of Basel, Switzerland, in 1300.
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