The surname COBBS has more than one source. It was a baptismal name 'the son of Jacob' an ancient and still popular personal name. It was also a locational name for a dweller near a roundish mass or lump. Most of the European surnames were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name. The earliest of the name recorded appears to be COBBE (without surname) who was listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086. In 1086 the compilation of the Domesday Book was ordered by William the Conqueror (1027-87), king of England from 1066. He was born in Failaise, the bastard son of Robert, Duke of Normandy, by Arlette, a tanner's daughter. On his father's death in 1035, the nobles accepted him as a duke. When Edward the Confessor, king of England died in 1066, William invaded England that Autumn, on 14th October, 1066 killing Harold (who had become King). English government under William assumed a more feudal aspect, the king's tenants-in-chief and all title to land was derived from his grants, and the Domesday Book contains details of the land settlements, and the names of the owners of such. Other records of the name mention Richard Cobbe, 1279 County Cambridge. Thomas Cobson of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of the year 1379. William Cobson married Jane Pritchett, St. James, Clerkenwell, London in 1675. George Cobb married Frances Letchford at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1651. The surname COBBS is especially common in Dorset and East Anglia, though widely distributed throughout south England. One present day Oxfordshire family are descended from Sir Francis Cobb (1606-1671) a royalist officer in County Oxford, who came from Burnham in Norfolk.
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