I've checked Bebb in Rowland's "Surnames of Wales". They say that it is
possible that BEBB originally came from the Midlands (possibly Derbyshire
where there are 17c Bebbs) and if this is the case, then it might be a
variant of the name BIBB(S)/BABB(S) which is very common in the Midlands.
They suggest all three variants may have stemmed from the Old English
personal name, Bebbe.
Rowlands does not list Bibb as a Welsh name at all, but says there is a
record of Bebb in Llanbrynmair, Montgomreyshire in 1596.
Basil Cottle (The Penguin Dictionary of Surnames) gives BEBB as a North
Wales surname, coming from the personal name Bebbe or Bebba. However he
gives BIBB/BIBBY as a completely separate name, being a dimunitive of the
name Isabel. He says BIBB was found in Staffordshire and Yorkshire in the
1200s but now mainly confined to Lancashire.
Reaney & Wilson in a Dictionary of English surnames gives BABB as a being a
diminutive of Barbara, BIBBY as a diminutive of Isabel but does not mention
BEBB at all!
Henry Guppy gives BUBB as a peculiar to Gloucestershire, BEEBY as peculiar
to Leicestershire & BEBB as being peculiar to North Wales.
So....take your pick!! The definitions & locations given above don't help
you at all!! The trouble is that the meanings of so many surnames are
obscure and have become confused over the years. Pronounciations and
spellings changed from place to place, priest to priest and generation to
generation. So even though Bebb/Bibb/Babb are given as having different
origins in some books, these general definitions may not be true for every
modern day example of the name. Individual names may have become merged or
confused over the years and so Bebb and Bibb may indeed be linked in some
families. Rowlands certainly suggests that this may be the case and so it is
worth persuing a possible connection further.
Stephen and Helen Jones
Weymouth, Dorset, England
From: Malcolm Bebb <bebb(a)embetech.demon.co.uk>
To: DYFED-L(a)rootsweb.com <DYFED-L(a)rootsweb.com>
Date: 30 December 1998 10:59
Subject: Seeking a favour - BIBB
I've just been contacted by Ben BIBB, who is wondering if his name and mine
(BEBB) are variants from a common root. I've not seen BIBB in Wales (but
then I haven't looked!). Ben's family have been in Virginia since early 17th
century, but they have a possible Welsh origin.
I wonder if anyone living in Wales or bordering areas who has come across
(or would be willing to have a quick look in the local phone book)
would be kind enough to get back to me, so I can get an idea of the
distribution and suggest where he might start looking.
Malcolm Bebb bebb(a)embetech.demon.co.uk Tel/Fax (44) 01202 772162
Test Solutions ATE User Documentation Mobile 0468 377456
Sponsor, POWYS-L mail list: http://www.embetech.demon.co.uk/powys/index.htm