Rabley

Rabley - what does Rabley surname mean?

This is an English surname. Recorded as Rabley, Robley, Roblye, and Roble, it is locational either from the village of Robley in the county of Hampshire or Rabley in Hertfordshire. According to the Oxford Dictionary of English Place Names, the meaning of both places is the same, and derives from the Middle English word `wrobbe` meaning literally to blab, but probably used in this case either as a nickname for a loud mouth or given the humour of the period, the complete opposite! Our suggestion would be that the name may have some transferred meaning perhaps for a swiftly flowing stream. To this has been added the original suffix of `leah`, the later `ley`, and meaning a fenced farm. So the meaning could be `Blabs farm` or `The farm by the swift stream`. Without actually being present perhaps fifteen hundred years ago, it is almost impossible with many such names, to be completely accurate on meanings. The surname being locational is a `from` name. That is to say a name given as easy identification to people who had left the village and moved elsewhere. In this case the name is well recorded in the diocese of Greater London, with Ann Roblye who married Richard Crannfield, at St James Clerkenwell, on January 7th 1645 and Jonathon Robley, whose son William was christened at St Mary-le-Bone, on May 20th 1772.

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