Recorded in many forms including Habbert, Happert, Hobbert, Hobart, Hobbart, Habert, Hubbard, and dialectals such as Obbard, Obart, Obert and others, this ancient surname can only be described as "European". It derives from the Anglo-Saxon personal name Hugibert or Hubert, itself a compound of the elements "hug" meaning "heart", and "beorht," - bright or famous, a translation which no doubt contributed to its early popularity. The personal name was probably introduced into Britain by the Saxon invaders of the 6th century, although its first known recording would seem to be that of 'Eudo filius Huberti' in the Domesday Book of 1086. This was not of course a surname, the first of these being Roger Hubert, who appears in the Fines Court Rolls of Northumberland in 1199, whilst other early examples of the recordings taken from charters include William Hobard of Suffolk in 1291, John Hobart also of Suffolk in 1346, whilst Pastor John Hubbard who embarked from London on 17th April 1635, bound for Virginia was one of the early settlers in the New England colonies. He was also one of the first students at the fledgling Harvard University, of which in 1688, he became President. Later examples include Mary Obert who married John Dunn at St Mary's Rotherhythe, on November 17th 1682, and Joseph Obbard, whose son Augustus Obbard, was christened at St Mark's Kennington, on September 11th 1844. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop," often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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