This surname, widely recorded in Devonshire Church Registers from the mid 16th Century under the variant spellings Trabie, Tr(e)aby, Treby, and Tribye, is of early medieval English origin, and is a locational name from Traboe in the parish of St. Keverne, Cornwall. Recorded as "Trefwurabo" in 977; as "Treurabo", circa 1240; and as "Trerabo" in 1611, the component elements of the placename are the Cornish "tre", homestead, settlement, with the personal name "Gorabo", equivalent to the Old Welsh "Guorabui, Guorapui". (The above recordings show the mutation of "g" to "w" in the personal name, and then the loss of that syllable). Locational surnames, such as this, were originally given to local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. On February 5th 1570, Elizabeth Tribye and John Tucker were married in Bradworthy, Devonshire, and on May 9th 1630, Elizabeth, daughter of John Treeby, was christened at Yealmpton, Devonshire. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is a black shield with a silver lion rampant, collared vaire azure and erminois, in chief three bezants, the Crest being a demi silver lion collared as in the arms. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Trabie, which was dated February 9th 1567, christened at Yealmpton, Devonshire, 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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