Recorded in the spellings of Niblett, Noblet and Noblett, this is a surname of English origins. It is a diminutive either of the French 'noble', meaning well born, Robert Le Noble being recorded in Huntingdon in the Curia Regis rolls of the year 1106, or it a double diminutive of the given name "Nib" which itself is a rare pet form of the popular personal name - Robert. This personal name was introduced from Normandy before the 1066 Invasion and during the reign of Edward, the Confessor, also known as the last English king. It achieved considerable popularity during the following century, and from Robert derived many nickname forms. These include Robb and its diminutive Rob(in), Hobb and Hobb(in), Nobb, Nob(lett) and Nibb, Nib(lett), the suffix being a short form of the French 'petit', meaning small, or in this case 'son of'. The medieval period was one in which 'communication' of all sorts was being encouraged, and the creation of nicknames and subsequently surnames was a favourite pastime. It has also been suggested although without definitive proof, that Nib(lett) could be from the Middle English "nib", meaning a beak, a nickname for a person with a prominent nose. Early recordings of the surname include John Nobelot of Cambridge in 1327, Elizabeth Niblett who married Thomas Winston in Gloucester in 1551, Peter Noblett, buried at St Michaels Cornhill, London, in 1578, and Andrew Niblett who married Alice Bailey, at Standish, Gloucester, in 1581. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ordric Noblet, which was dated 1187, the Pipe Rolls of the County of Berkshire, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as 'The church builder', 1154 - 1189. 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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