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WEBB Family History
This famous surname recorded as Webb, Webbe, Webber and Webster, is Olde English pre 7th Century. It derives from the word "web", meaning to weave. Originally a male occupational name, the term "webbe" referred specifically to a male weaver and 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, 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"...
Webb: (Variants: Webbe)
An English and Scottish occupational name from early Middle English webbe ‘weaver’, deriving from Old English webba, a derivative of wefan ‘to weave’.
An Americanised form of various Ashkenazic Jewish cognates, including Weber and Weberman.
In 1891, the surname location was widespread across England with 44,541 occurrences recorded in England and Wales and a fewer 96 in Scotland. In 1881, the county of Kent was a top county of the surname with 2,507 occurrences and further west in Cambridgeshire it was also recorded as a top surname by frequency with 1,049 occurrences.
Also reported in 1881, Agricultural Labourer, Labourer and Farmer were the top 3 reported jobs worked by Webb in the UK, with the most common being Agricultural Labourer. A less common occupation was Coal Miner.
John Webb, an English convict from Kent, was transported aboard the "America" 4 April 1829, settling in New South Wales, Australia. Another, Jeremiah Webb, from Cambridge, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on 3 July 1822, also settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia.
There are any notables of the surname, including: Charles Webb (1821-1898), was an English-born, Australian architect who worked in Victoria, Australia.
Another noted, Francis William Webb (1836-1906), British engineer who designed locomotives for the London and North Western Railway (LNWR).
Harry Roger Webb (b. 1940), is the birth name of Sir Cliff Richard, the English singer, actor, and philanthropist.
1881, 1891 Census
1881 Census in Kent
1881 Cencus in Cambridgeshire
Dictionary of American Family Homes, P Hanks OUP 2003
Homes of Family Names in Great Britain, H.B. Guppy, London 1890
The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland, P.Hanks, Coats, McClure OUP 2016
1860 Lower, Mark A Patronymica Britannica: a dictionary of the family names of the United Kingdom, London: J.R Smith. Public Domain
1857 Arthur, William An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. New York: Sheldon, Blakeman. Public Domain
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