It is often easier with surnames to find a recording than to find an origination, and this is one of the species. This surname now recorded in the spellings of Robrow, Rubrow, Robroe, Robrose, Rubroe and no doubt many other forms, is locational and as far as we can tell, of Olde English pre 7th century origins. It derives from 'Hlaw - hoh' or similar, and would originally have described a hamlet or even a single farm of that name. The translation is 'the place on the rough ground', and the very description suggests that such a site would by its nature have been less than permanent, and would have disappeared with any slight change in weather or agricultural practice. There was no shortage of the latter experience in the Middle Ages, with common grazing rights being 'enclosed' and the tenants dispossessed. This form of legalised robbery continued as late as the mid 18th century. When this happened the luckless 'villagers' took to the roads, and at their journeys end were given as their surname and easy identification, the name of their former home. Spelling being at best rudimentary, and writing no better, a wide range of variant forms usually ensued. In this case examples of surname recordings include Nicholas Rubrow, who married Ellinor Lusher at St Dunstans, Stepney, on April 19th 1625, and John Rubroe, christened at St Mary Abbotts, Kensington, on March 26th 1635. John Thomas Robrow was also christened at St Dunstans, Stepney, on October 15th 1838, in the first year of the reign of Queen Victoria. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Charles Robroe, which was dated December 8th 1621, married at St Katherines by the Tower (of London), during the reign of King James 1st of England and V1 of Scotland, 1587 - 1625. 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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