This interesting and unusual name is of French (Norman) origin and is locational from a place in France with the elements "pre", a meadow, with "ville", a town. The name is recorded extensively in the county of Kent, which supports the above theory, as this county is the closest land in Britain to France. During the 16th and 17th Centuries a large influx of French Huguenot exiles who were escaping the persecution of Catherine de "Medici", sought refuge in Britain, and as in the case of many locational names, the persons birthplace was often used as a means of identification. One Thomas Prebble married Ellen Premble on 16th January 1598, at Boughton under Blean, Kent. Also in Kent, this time in West Farleigh, there are records of the christenings of three namebearers, children of John Prebble, one Robert, on November 5th 1620, Dorathy, on September 5th 1619 and, Ellen on December 2nd 1627. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Preble, which was dated November 20th 1564, at Selling-by-Faversham, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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