This is a variant spelling form of a rare late medieval occupational name. It derives from the Middle English "tribute", itself a development of the Latin "tributium", and describes a person who collected taxes, exacted a tribute. The term and occupation was specifically associated with the mining industry from about the year 1500, all early recordings of the surname apparently dating from this period. The name recordings and its development include (see below): Johes Trebytt, christened at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, on September 6th 1648; William Trebet, who married Ann Symson at St.Giles Cripplegate, on August 24th 1654; and Peter Tribbett, registered at St. John the Evangelist, Dublin, on December 19th 1667. An early example of the surname is found in Devonshire, where the christening of Mary, daughter of John Trebbett, was recorded in South Molton, on May 17th 1674. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Tribute, which was dated October 7th 1597, a witness at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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