This rare surname is of aristocratic origin, and is recorded heraldically in Rietstap's "Armorial General" (circa 1680) as "de la Trobe" in Estonia. The name is believed to derive from the Middle High German "trube" (Old High German "t(h)ruba"), a bunch of grapes, and would be used of a vine-yard. Usually locational surnames were preceded by the possessive preposition "de", and since possession of a habitational surname was normally associated with lordship over the estates of the place in question, the preposition "de" came to be regarded as a mark of aristocracy, and was later occasionally inserted in front of surnames that were not local at all. In this instance, the surname was probably given to someone who lived by a vineyard. On April 28th 1758, Anna, daughter of Johannes and Elisabeth Trobe, was christened at Sankt Georgen am Weinberge, Kaernten, Austria, and Theresia Friderica, daughter of Joann and Justina Trobe, was christened at Borgholz, Westfalen, Germany, on September 16th 1844. A Coat of Arms granted to the family depicts three gold shells on a blue fess, on a silver shield. In Heraldry a fess is symbolic of the Military Belt and Girdle of Honour worn in ancient times. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Joannes Paulus Trobe, which was dated May 25th 1631, christened at Rheinberg, Rheinland, Germany, during the reign of Ferdinand 11, Habsburg Emperor, 1619 - 1637. 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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