This interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and has a number of possible meanings. Firstly, it may be a topographical name for someone who lived in a clearing in a woodland, deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century "stybbing", a derivative of "stubb", tree stump, in Middle English "stebbing", area of cleared woodland. Topographical names were some of the earliest to be created, as topographical features, whether natural or man-made, provided obvious and convenient means of identification. The surname may also be locational, from some minor place named with this element. Finally, the surname may derive from the Olde English nickname from "stybbing", stumpy. The creation of surnames from nicknames was a common practice in the Middle Ages, and many modern-day surnames derive from medieval nicknames referring to personal characteristics, as in this instance "the stocky, stumpy one". The surname is first recorded in the late 12th Century (see below), and can also be found as Stebbing, Stebbings and Stubbings. Richard Stubin is noted in the Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire (1279), and Richard del Stubbyng is listed in the Ministers' Accounts of the Earldom of Cornwall (1297). Recordings of the surname from English Church Registers include: the marriage of Richard Stubbins and Grace Clayton on January 30th 1591 at Rotherham, Yorkshire; and the marriage of Richard Stubbins and Barbaro Sampford on October 27th 1595 at St. Bride's, Fleet Street, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Stubbing, which was dated 1191, in the "Pipe Rolls of Norfolk", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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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