- This interesting name, with variant spelling Aubrey, Aubray, Aubry, Aubery, Aubury and Obray, derives from three possible origins. Firstly, the name may come from the Middle English and Old French personal name "Aubri", itself deriving from the Germanic given name "Alberic", composed of the elements "alb", elf, and "ric", power. The surname could also have come from the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Aelfric", made up of the elements "oelf", elf, and "ric", power. Finally, the surname may be derived from the Old Germanic female name "Albreda" or the Old French personal name "Albree", which was composed of the Germanic elements "alb", elf, and "red", counsel. Both Alberic and Albreda were introduced into England by the Normans after the Invasion of 1066. One Osbertus filius (son of) Albrei was recorded in 1115 in "Liber Wintoniensis" (Hampshire), and one Robert Aubri was listed in 1308, in the Feet of Fines of Suffolk. An interesting namebearer, recorded in the "Dictionary of National Biography", was John Aubrey (1626 - 1697), who was educated at Trinity College, Oxford, and brought to light megalithic remains at Avebury in 1649. He was empowered by patent to make antiquarian surveys under the crown and formed large topographical collections in Wiltshire and Surrey. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Aubrey, which was dated 1279, in the "Hundred Rolls of Berkshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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.