This is a patronymic i.e., "the son of Nobb", a petform of the personal name Robert rhymed on the first syllable. Robert itself, derives from the Olde German personal name "Hrodberth" - a compound of the element "hrod" meaning "fame" plus "berht", bright. Hence, "fame bright". Robert without surname is first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086. The pet form Nobb(e) doesn't appear until the beginning of the 13th Century - Nobbe Caipe, the Assize Court Rolls of Lincolnshire (1202). The surname from this source is first recorded circa 1248 - Records of the Abbey of Bee, Oxfordshire and the patronymic appears nearly a century later. On January 6th 1679 one, John Nobbs, marshal, appears on a list of soldiers engaged in military service in the Barbados. William, son of Martha Nobes was christened on October 24th 1830 at St. Mary le Strand, London while at St. Mark's, Notting Hill, London Thomas Nobes married Louise Hughes on August 3rd 1873. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Nobys, which was dated 1327 - The Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk, during the reign of King Edward 111, The Father of the Navy, 1327 - 1377. 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.