Recorded as Mabb, Mabe, Mabee, Mable, Mabley, and patronymics Mabbs, Mabson, Mableson, Mablestone, Mableton, and possibly others, this is an English surname. It is a rare metonymic which is to say it originates from a mothers name not the fathers. The derivation is from the pre 9th century Old French female name "Amabel", itself from the Latin amabilis meaning loveable. In the British Isles this personal name has survived into the 20th century in the aphetic form of Mabel. The surname dates back to the late 13th century, (see below) and other early examples of recordings include John Mabbein the "Cartulary of Oseney Abbey, Oxford" in the year 1200, and Agnes Mabbe in the Poll Tax Records of Yorkshire in 1379. Early church recordings from surviving registers of Greater London include Thomas Mabb, christened at St Mathews Friday Street, on November 29th 1573, Suzanna Mabe who married William Connysis on February 19th 1572 also at St. Matthew's, Friday Street, Joan Mabson who married Thomas Crafts possibly by civil licence, on December 23rd 1581, Richard Mable, christened at St Augustines Watling Street, on October 28th 1582, and Thomas Mabbleson christened at St Dunstans, Stepney, on June 22nd 1695. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Mabbe. This was dated 1278, in the Calendar of Letter Books of the City of London, during the reign of King Edward 1st of England, 1272 - 1307. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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