This interesting and unusual surname is a variant of Scobie, which is of Scottish origin, and is locational from a now "lost" place, thought to have been in the former county of Perthshire. The placename is derived from the Gaelic "sgolbach" meaning thorny place. An estimated seven to ten thousand villages and hamlets are known to have disappeared in Britain since circa 1100, due to such natural disasters as the Black Death of 1348, in which an eighth of the population perished, or to the widespread practice of "clearing" large areas of land to make sheep pastures during the height of the wool-trade in the 14th and 15th Centuries. The modern surname can be found as Scobie, Scobbie and Scoble. The christening was recorded in Scotland of Arthur Nunn, son of William James Scoble and Mary Jane Jenkin, on October 4th 1875 at Edinburgh Parish, Midlothian. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Andrew Scobie, which was dated 1369, The Blackfriars of Perth, Scotland, during the reign of King David 11 of Scotland, 1329 - 1371. 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.