- This unusual surname is of early medieval English origin, and is a patronymic form of Harbi(n), itself a diminutive of the male given name Herbert, ultimately from the Old German "Hariberct", composed of the Germanic elements "heri, hari", army, and "berht", bright, famous. Introduced into England by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066, in the form "Herbert", the name diffused the corresponding Anglo-Saxon "Herebeorht", and ppears as "Herbertus" and "Hereberd" in the Domesday Book of 1086. William Herebert, noted in the 1206 Pipe Rolls of Dorset, is the first recorded bearer of the surname. The patronymics Herbertson, Herbeson, Harbertson and Harbison are particularly well recorded in Scotland, and in the Province of Ulster from the early 16th Century, and examples include: Matthew Harbyson (Shanroe, County Monaghan, 1516); Archibald Herbertson, burgess of Glasgow (1525); and William Harbison, born at Rough, County Monaghan, in 1545. The form Harbinson results from an intrusive "n" in "Harbison". On December 2nd 1764, William Harbinson and Rebecca Lightburn were married at Downpatrick, County Down, and on December 31st 1832, the marriage of Ann Harbinson to Thomas Thorn took place at St. Olave's, Southwark, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Harbyson, which was dated 1514, marriage to Catherine Robinson, at Shanroe, County Monaghan, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Bluff King Hal", 1509 - 1547. 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.
Surnames reference. 2013.