This unusual surname is first recorded in London (see below) in the 16th Century. It is apparently a derived diminutive form of the ancient Olde English pre 7th Century "webbe". This word, and later medieval surname, described a male weaver of woollen garments, and Webby, and its variant spellings indicate a kinship or form of endearment. This could mean "little or small" Webb, or possibly nephew or cousin of Webb. The diminutive form usually has North Eastern or Scottish associations, although not, it would seem in this case, Webby not being recorded in any form in the North until the mid 19th Century. There is a suggestion that some nameholders could derive from a now "lost" medieval place called "Wibba's ley" (or similar), meaning "the farm of Wibba", the latter being an Olde English personal name, but this is not proven. The name recording examples include the following: Isaac Webby, who married Tacy Ballard at St. James' Church, Duke's Place, London, on March 8th 1684, whilst a century later, on July 10th 1751, Joane Webby married John Benskin at St. George's, Church, Mayfair, also in London, in the reign of King George 11 (1727 - 1760). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Katherina Webbey, which was dated January 30th 1578, marriage to Lodivicus Evans, at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, 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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