Recorded in a very wide range of spellings including Probart, Probert, Probertt, Probat, Probet, Probatts, Probate, Probetts and others, this is a surname of pre 7th century Olde English and later Welsh origins. It derives from a fused form of the patronymic prefix "ap" or sometimes "ab" meaning son of, with, in this case Robert or perhaps in some cases, from "Batt", a short form of Bartholomew. Both personal names were occasionally found in England before the Norman Conquest of 1066, were mainly introduced thereafter, and quickly became popular. Robert derives from the Germanic elements "hrod", meaning renown, and "berht", bright or famous, and has generated a wide variety of surnames, whilst Bartholomew was biblical and means a farmer. Early examples of the surname recording taken from surviving church registers of the diocese of Greater London include such examples as those of Thomas Uprobarte, who died in 1540 and was buried at St. Antholin's church, Lucie Probatts, who was married at St Brides, Fleet Street, on November 29th 1612, James Probate, who was christened at St Mary-le-Bone, on September 1st 1690, Humphrey Probet, who married Judeth Brooks at St Mary Lothbury, on October 18th 1698, Esther Probate who was christened at St Lukes Finsbury, on February 5th 1769, and Joseph Probert, who married Sarah Owen at St. George's, Hanover Square, in 1792. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Philip ab Robert. This was dated 1250, in the ancient deeds of Hertfordshire, during the reign of King Henry 111rd of England, 1216 - 1272. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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