This unusual and interesting surname is of Scottish origin, and is locational from the old barony of Stobo, in Peeblesshire, Southern Scotland. The placename is derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century "stubb", tree stump, and either "holh", hole, hollow, depression, or "halh", nook, recess. Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. The surname was first recorded in the late 12th Century, and other early recordings include: Adam de Stobhou, a juror on an inquest held at Peebles in 1262; John Stobo, a servant to the king in 1583; and William Stobo, who was charged with "tumult" in Glasgow in 1606. Recordings from Scottish Church Registers include the marriages of Jean Stobo and James Dunn on July 17th 1684, and of John Stobo and Margarett Conquergood, on December 23rd 1698, both at Edinburgh, Midlothian. One Robert Stobo was an early settler in North America; he was born in Glasgow in 1727 and educated at the University of Glasgow from 1740 to 1742, before becoming a merchant in Virginia, and also a Militiaman. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of David de Stubhou, which was dated circa 1177 - 1199, a charter witness in the "Registers of the Monastery of Passelet", during the reign of King William "The Lion" of Scotland, 1165 - 1214. 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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