Recorded in many forms including: Stibbs, Stobbes and Stubbs, this is one of the most ancient of English surnames. It is of pre 7th century origins, and maybe topographical or locational from the village of 'Stubbs' near Pontefract in the West Riding of Yorkshire, or it was a nickname. Stubbs village was recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book as 'Istop', this no doubt being an attempt by a Norman-French clerk to understand the broad dialect of the north. What is certain is that the origin is from the word 'stybb' and this refers to an area of ground covered by tree stumps, probably following a forest fire. Later it is said the name was applied as a nickname to people of short, stocky, build, and possibly this is true in some cases, the medieval period being renowned for its very robust humour. Whether Richard Stubbe of Yorkshire who appears in the 1185 Knight Templar rolls (The Crusaders) was stocky is not known, but the fact that he came from Yorkshire would suggest that his was a locational surname. This is certainly the case with Henry de Stubbes of Yorkshire in 1273, Robert del Stobbes of Cheshire in 1288 and Richard ate Stubbs of Sussex in 1327. George Stubbs (1724 - 1806) was the noted painter of the 18th century coaching era. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Aelfeah Stybb, which was dated circa 1000, in the "Old English Bynames", during the reign of King Ethelred, known as "The Unready", 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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