This is the patronymic form of the surname Robert, derived from the Old German Rodbert, a compound of the elements "hrod" meaning renown, plus "berht", bright or famous. Rodbertus, Rotbert and Robert (without surname) are recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086. The personal name became popular in England following the Norman Conquest and was adopted as a surname in the latter half of the 13th Century - "William Robert, (witness) the Fine Court Rolls of Essex" (1292). The patronymic form of the name first appears in the early 14th Century (see below), the final "s" being a reduced form of "son of".The patronymics of the surname include: Rober(t)s, Robarts, Roberds and Rober(t)son. Among the sample recordings in London are the marriage of Alexander Robarts and Margrett Cullwicke on January 7th 1605 at St. John's, Hackney, and the christening of Charles, son of Richard and Esther Robarts, on August 1st 1696 at St. Bartholmew the Great. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Roberdes, which was dated 1327, The Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire, during the reign of King Edward 111, "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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