This unusual surname is a variant diminutive form of either the Olde English pre 10th century "stybb" - a nickname for a short, stocky, person - in effect "Little Stybb," or it is a development of "Stables." In the later case it would have been occupation descriptive for an owner of stables, or possibly locational for one who lived by such a place. However the available evidence points to the development being from "stybb" although the usual spelling in the 20th century is "Stobbs, Stibbs or Stible." The medieval period and earlier saw the development of a wide range of lusty nicknames, all based upon personal characteristics, "stybb' was a very mild example ! There a few straight lines with surnames and changes in spelling are often difficult to comprehend. When changes do occur it is usually because of a combination of dialect and poor spelling by the registrar, and these still happen today. In this case examples of the recordings are as follows - Richard Stybbe in the 1185 Templer (Crusader) Rolls of Yorkshire, and William Stob in Sussex in 1332. The later diminutives include Ann Stiball who married Thomas Chesswood at the church of St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on November 11th 1667, John Steble, a christening witness at St Pauls Church, Covent Garden on March 3rd 1778, and Emanuel Stibbles, whose son William was born at Holborn Hospital, Endell Street, on August 12th 1773. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Aelfeah Stybb, which was dated circa 1000 a.d. in the Olde English Bynames Rolls, during the reign of Aethelred the Unready, King of England 978 - 1016. 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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