Labin

Labin - what does Labin surname mean?

This rare and interesting surname is ultimately of Hebrew origin, from the personal name `Laban`. The given name originated as a byname, deriving from the Hebrew `laban`, white, and would have been given to one with white hair or a fair complexion. The creation of names from nicknames was a common practice in the Middle Ages, and many modern-day names derive from medieval nicknames referring to personal characteristics, as in this instance the `white haired one`. The name is referred to by Shylock in Shakespeare`s `Merchant of Venice`, in the following quote; `When Laban and himself were compromised that all the earlings which were streak`d and pied should fall as Jacob`s hire`. The surname can also be found as Leban, Labin and Labon. Recordings of the surname from London Church Registers include; Barbara Laban who married Charles Berry on July 2nd 1607 at St. Mary Mounthaw; Mary Laban who married John Mason on September 12th 1631 at St.Andrew by the Wardrobe; and John, son of Edmund and Ann Laban, who was christened on February 26th 1632 at St. Botolph Bishopsgate. The Coat of Arms most associated with the family is a red shield with three gold keys. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Labin, which was dated December 25th 1600, witness at a christening at St. Mary Whitechapel, Stepney, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as `Good Queen Bess`, 1558-1603. 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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