Recorded as Arban, Arbin, Arboin, Arboine, Arbouin, Arbon, Harben, Harbin, Harbert, Harberd, and possibly others, this is of English or in some cases, possibly Welch, origins. It may derive from a fused form of the pre 7the century Anglo-Saxon name 'Hari-beret', the later Herbert and translating as 'army bright,' or from the pre 12th century Welsh 'Ap or Ab Owen' meaning 'the son of Owen' and often found in the surname of Bowen. In either case the surname is one of the survivors from a period when the original Olde English and Welsh names were largely submerged by the inrush of biblical names from in particular the Holy Land and Greece. Whilst it is arguable that Owen is sometimes a form of the Hebrew John, it can alos be a Celtic name in its own right.
"Early examples of the surname recordings include Geoffrey le Arber in the Curia Regis Rolls for the county of Middlesex in the year 1205, and during the reign of the infamous King John, and Richard Herbert in the Hundred Rolls of Worcester in 1221. Later examples in the surviving church registers of the city of London include Alexander Arbin at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, in 1663, and Henry Arboin at St Pancras Old Church, on August 21st 1802."