This surname, of many variant forms, has origins which can be either Olde English pre 10th Century, or Norman-French post 1066, or even 17th Century Huguenot. However, in all cases the translation is the same, the abbot or priest. The earliest origination is from the Aramaic "Aba", meaning "father", although the 13th Century surname is either a nickname for one who had Abbot-like qualities, or a metonymic for one who worked at a religious house. It is very unlikely to have derived from an actual cleric, as the church was ostensibly celibate! The early registers give such examples as, Susanna l'Abethe, who married Ricardus Powell at St.Martin in the Fields, Westminster, on July 20th 1589, whilst in 1704, Jean Louis l'Abat, Count of Landry, was a French Huguenot refugee recorded at the Leicestershire Gardens Chapel. Other examples include: Edward Lebat, christened at St. Martin in the Fields, on January 22nd 1636, and Sarah Labbett, who married William Pain at St. Pancras Old Church, on May 16th 1838, whilst on August 12th 1866, Fanny Labbett married August Charles Francis Stevens at All Souls, St. Mary-Le-Bone, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Peter Le Abbot, which was dated 1237, in the "Records of Hornchurch Priory", Essex, 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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