This interesting and unusual surname is of French origin, and is a patronymic, adopted from any of the various Germanic compound names with the first element "iv", "eibe", yew, bow (a weapon generally made from the supple wood of a yew tree). The popularity of these names is borne out by the number of surnames they generated, for example: in England, Ive and Ivey; in France, Erb(e), Erbain, Yve(s), Yvon, Yven and Iva(i)n; and in Italy Ivi and Ivone. The surname may also derive from the Germanic "erbe", inheritance, heir, and would have been a nickname given to the heir of a big estate, or to one who inherited riches.The creation of surnames from nicknames was a common practice in the Middle Ages, and many modern-day surnames derive from medieval nicknames referring to personal characteristics. Catherina, daughter of Vert and Catherina Erbe, was christened on June 3rd 1572, at St. Jacobi, Chemnitz, Sachsen, Germany. The marriage of Phebe Erbe and Thomas Kyddall took place at St. Vedast Foster Lane, London, on July 19th 1574. On August 20th 1736, Philbert Erbee married Margueritt Huart, at St. Marcel, Ardennes, France. A Coat of Arms granted to the Erbe family of Strasbourg depicts two black wings in lure, charged with a silver crescent, on a gold shield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hans Erbe, which was dated May 27th 1571, marriage to Agnes Streubel at St. Michael, Zeitz, Sachsen, Germany, during the reign of Maximilian 11, known as "The Habsburg Emperor", 1564 - 1576. 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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