Recorded as Webb, Webbe, Webber, Webster, the diminutives Webbin, Weblin, Webling, and Weblinge, and the dialectals Webland and Weebland, this is an English surname. Of pre 7th century origins, it derives from the word "web", meaning to weave, and was an occupational name. The term "webbe" referred specifically to a male weaver and the later "webster" to a female weaver; although this distinction was not always made in medieval English. In the pipe rolls of the county of Suffolk, we find Osbert Webbe so recorded in 1221, and Alice la Webbe, in the rolls of the borough of Colchester, Essex, in 1327. The following quotation from the famous medieval book of social history "Piers Plowman" reads: "My wife was a webbe and woollen cloth made". Later church recordings from the diocese of Greater London from the post medieval period include: Mary Webb, the daughter of George Webb, who was christened on March 5th 1550 at the church of St. Mary Woolnoth, Wessel Weblinge, whose daughter Heaster was christened at the church of All Hallows the Less, on October 17th 1596, William Weblin, a witness at St Giles Cripplegate, on May 15th 1681, and Robert Weebland or Webland, christened at St Mary's Battersea, on December 19th 1804. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alger se Webba which was dated circa 1100, in the "Olde English Byname Register", during the reign of King William 11, known as "Rufus", 1087 - 1100. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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