Jacobs - what does Jacobs surname mean?

This medieval surname with variant spellings Jacubs, Jakobs, etc. is a patronymic of the given name Jacob, from the Latin Jacobus, itself coming from the Hebrew personal name Yakoov, which is traditionally interpreted as deriving from the Hebrew `akev` meaning `heel`. In the Bible, this is the name of the younger twin brother of Esau who took advantage of the latter`s hunger and impetuousness to persuade him to part with his birthright `for a mess of potage`. Jacob was said to have been born holding on to Esau`s heel. The surname dates back to the mid 13th Century (see below). Church Records include Henry Jacobs who married Sarah Harris on May 12th 1684 in the Church of St. Katherine-by-the-Tower, London, and Francis Jacobs who married Frances Lefever on February 9th 1696 in the Church of St. Dunstan`s, Stepney. One Kenny Jacobs, aged 50 yrs., a famine emigrant, sailed from London aboard the `Prince-Albert` bound for New York on March 13th 1846. A Coat of Arms granted to a Jacobs family at Ripple in Kent is divided quarterly, dancettee black and gold, and in the first quarter a gold pelican. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Agnes Jacobes which was dated 1244, in the `Cartularium Monasterii de Rameseia`, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as `The Frenchman`, 1216 - 1272. 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.

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