Lisa: There seems to be little rhyme and less reason for the spelling variations of the Dobyns, Dobbins, Dobbyns, Dobins, Daubins, Dobin, Dobyn, D'Aubin (and perhaps other variations not yet caught) family name. In the days when hardly anyone could spell and/or there was no standard reference for spelling, it is no wonder that the all family names were subject to infinite variations. As far as I can tell from biopsying many name lists, the `Dobbins' variation is the most common in todays USA. However, you will note in the Daniel Dobyns of Colonial Virginia book that the same family branch would spell the name one way on one occasion, another way on another. Since all Dobyns' lines did not stem from Daniel Dobyns of Colonial Virginia, some of the alternate spelling probably represent quite different lineages, but one never knows till they are tracked back to either common or disparate ancestors. Did your ancestor, Richard, change to one of the variant spellings for his own good reasons. Who knows? Why not? We're lucky he didn't change his name to Smith!