There are several different views on the origins of the name Abbs. The name Abbiss may date back to the days of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. One view is that It is derived from their residence near one or more notable aspen trees. The surname Abbiss (as a variation of Abbs) could thus be derived from the Old English word æpse, which means aspen. The surname may also be a nickname in jest, for a timid person, referring to the trembling leaves of the tree.
Spelling variations include: APPS, APSE, ABBS, ABB, APP, APSEY, EPPS, EBBS, EPSEY, EPP and many more.
Another suggestion is that AEBBA, the exiled daughter of Aehelfrith King of Northumbria, fled to Scotland when he died. She later became a nun at Coldingham and subsequently Abbess of this double monastery.
Another suggestion is that a monk named ABBS, possibly a relative of EBBA and based at Durham, ran off with a nun from Coldingham, and thus founded the family of ABBS.
First found in the county of Middlesex in southern England where they held a family seat from very ancient times. In respect to place names, there is of course a village in Scotland near Edinboro said to be named after ancient Celtic Saint Aebba. Nearby is St. Abbs Head, a point of land extending into the North Sea.