This interesting surname is of Scottish origin, and is a locational name from either of two places thus called. One is from a town on the river Tweed in Peeblesshire, and the other from old lands near St. Vigeans in Angus. Both places probably get the name from a British element that became the Welsh "pebyll", tent, pavilion, to which the English plural "s" has been added. During the Middle Ages when migration for the purposes of job-seeking was becoming more common, people often took their former village name as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. The surname is first recorded in the early half of the 14th Century (see below). John de Peblys was master of the hospital of Peebles in 1362, another John de Peblis was burgess of Edinburgh (1368), and a third John de Peblys was archdeacon of St. Andrew's in 1378 and chancellor of Scotland in 1384. Recordings of the surname from Scottish Church Registers include: Catherine Peebles, who married John Hamilton on August 7th 1621 at Edinburgh, Midlothian; John, son of John and Bessie Peebles, who was christened on October 18th 1659 at Dundee, Angus; and Olipher Peebles, who married Agnes Cudbert on October 18th 1674 at the same place. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is a silver shield with a black engrailed chevron between three green popinjays membered red. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Sir Robert Peblis, Chamberlain of Scotland, which was dated 1328, in the "Episcopal Register of Aberdeenshire", during the reign of King Robert 1 of Scotland, 1306 - 1329. 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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