This interesting and unusual name is of medieval English origin and is a dialectal variant of the name Mabbi itself from the female given name 'Mab(b)e'. The derivation is a short form of the Old French, Middle English, 'Amabel', from the Latin word 'amabilis', lovable. This personal name has survived into the 20th Century in the form Mabel. In its present form it is likely to be the diminutive form (little) or the metronymic (from the mother) form of the medieval given name. There is also a place called Mabe Burnthouse, in Cornwall, which is possibly named from the same source. Amongst the sample recordings in London is one Martha Mabey who married William Newman on 2nd September 1781 at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph Mabbe, which was dated 1278, 'Calender of Letter Books...' City of London, during the reign of King Edward 1, '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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