This name, with variant spellings Robe and Rabb(e), is one of the diminutive form of the male given name Robert, itself coming from the old German, Hrodebert, a compound of the elements "hrod", renown and "berht" bright and famous. The name is occasionally found in England before the Conquest of 1066, but in the main it was the Norman's who introduced it to England. Rodbertus, Rotbert and Robert (without surname) are recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 and one, Robe Coccus is mentioned in the 1196 Pipe Rolls of Wiltshire. Early recordings of the surname include Richard Robe, (Sussex, 1178), and Richard Robbe, (Somerset, 1212). Robb, and its variant forms, is also widespread in Scotland. One, Jok Robb, voter in Monkland, was noted in "a Rental Book of the Diocese of Glasgow" in 1519. Ellinn Robb, aged 27 yrs an early emigrant to the New World, settle in the Barbados in December 1635. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Robbe, which was dated 1177, in the "Pipe Rolls of Sussex", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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.

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