Recorded in many overlapping spellings including Seabert, Seabridge, Seabage, Seabbage, Seabedge, Sebbage, Sebbidge, Sebright, Sebbrig, Sebedge, Seebright, Sawbridge and no doubt others, this is an English surname. It can have either of two origins. The first is from the Old English pre 7th century personal name 'Saebeorht', a compound of the elements sae, meaning the sea, and beorht, to give sea-bright. This personal name was borne by an early king of Essex, and is occasionally found on record until the 10th century. It re-emerges after the Norman Conquest of 1066 as Sebertus, in the Pipe Rolls of Gloucestershire, dated 1199, whilst Ricardus filius Sebriht appears in the Pipe Rolls of Leicestershire, for the same date. The second origin is locational either from the diminished hamlet of Seabridge in the county of Staffordshire, or from Sawbridge, another diminished hamlet, in Warwickshire. Early examples of recordings include Peter Sabright in the Close Rolls of Essex in 1290, and Michael Sebryth, in the Subsidy Tax Rolls of Suffolk, in 1327. Later examples of recordings taken from surviving church registers include Jane Seabright, who was christened at St. Mary Whitechapel, Stepney, in the city of London, in 1606, Mary Seabedge, christened at Petworth, Sussex on May 30th 1615, and later William Sebbage who married Mary Wilmer at Pulborough, Sussex, on September 10th 1801. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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