Recorded in many spelling forms including Wabb, Wabby, Wabe, Wabey, Waber, Weber, Webermann, Waberer, Wober, Weer, Weher, and others, this interesting surname is of Germanic origins, although recorded in its different spellings throughout Europe. The derivation is from pre 7th Century word "wefan", meaning to weave, and the later surname is therefore occupational for a maker or merchant of woven goods. Occupational surnames were amongst the first to be introduced in the 12th century, but they did not usually become hereditary until a son followed his father into the business. This also encouraged the development of patronymic forms. Early examples of the surname recording taken from authentic European records include: Henricus Weber, given as being a Burger of the city of Basle, Switzerland, in the year 1290, Uoli Waber of Waldkirch in 1400, and Hensli Webermann, of Freiburg, Germany, in 1476. It is not clear when the name was introduced into England, but it was certainly before the 15th century and may have been as with "Webb" which is the same root, Anglo-Saxon. The surviving church recordings of the post medieval period include recordings such as: Elizabeth Waby, christened at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on October 20th 1598, and her sister Anna, at the same church on August 17th 1604. A later example is that of William Wabe and Ann Reeves were married at St. Bride's church, Fleet Street, London, on March 9th 1822. The first recorded spelling of the family name anywhere in the world is believed to be that of Tidric Textor also known as Tidric Weber, a citizen of Koln, Germany, in 1139. 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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