Last name: Selby

Recorded as Selby and Selbie, this is an English surname. It is locational from the parish and market town of Selby in the East Riding of Yorkshire. It is called from the pre 7th century Old Norse word "selja" meaning willow and "-by", a farm or settlement. The earliest recording of the placename is as Selby in the early Yorkshire Charters of 1030. This was during the Danelaw, a period when the Vikings ruled most of Northern Englland. The surname is ancient. As an example the town of Riddleston in Northumberland was granted in 1272 by King Edward Ist of England to Sir Walter de Selby. It has ever since remained in the possession of his descendants, whilst Johannes de Selby appears in the Poll Tax rolls of Yorkshire in 1379. Early examples of the surname recording in surviving church registers include Agnes Selby who was christened on September 13th 1618, at Calverley, in Yorkshire, whilst Jane Dixon married Andrew Selby on July 5th 1822 at St Peters church, Leeds. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Selebia. This was dated 1175, in the Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire, during the reign of King Henry IInd of England, 1154 - 1189. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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jon lewis

I'm researching my Selby Ancestryline in Australia but have hit a brick wall. Have got as far as my gg grandfather Samuel Selby born in the UK circa 1798 and emigrated to South Australia Circa 1840 on the William Nicol Ship. Cannot find any details on his parents. Can anyone help on this? Cheers Jon


I never knew there were so many selbys!


I'm trying to locate my father's relatives which I understand live in Indiana. George Roscoe Selby. I know nothing of my father's ancestral history.

k schlutius

I have had problems with my Internet. long story short I'm using my first husbands last name. This is my first time trying to figure out who's veins my blood has ran through before it got to me. I'm not sure what I think I might find but the fun is in the looking right?

Michael Selby
Please give me more info on Selby

Jacqueline Selby Brooks
Most sources seem to think the name Selby is simply derived from the town of SELBY, which was a Viking town. I am of the opinion that the name may have been derived from SELBU, a municipality in Sør-Trøndelag county, Norway. The Old Norse form of the name was Selabũ. The first element is the genitive case of the old name of the lake Selbusjøen, (Old Norse Seli) the last element is bũ which means district. (Seli means 'harness' - the lake is long and narrow.) People often took their names from their place of origin, so maybe the Vikings who came to the place that is now the town of SELBY came from Selbũ.

John A Selby
As far as I could trace my ancesters 1768 I found he had the same first name as myself John Selby he lived in Gedling Nottinghamshire I had information that the head on the family crest was a Saracen but could well have been black

dariel selby-burwell
surely history is history and cannot be re written!

gayle selby
I'm from the Selby's that stayed in the UK. my dad says we originally Viking blood

hi gayle , i only left just overe five years ago i still own a house in the uk ,meet a driver from deamark years ago and he told me that selby was a daneish name my familey is origenly from yorkshire , thay were farms as i was befor , as farther past away last year i dont have any body to ask about familey yours malcolm selby

Harold Selby jr.
attention Selbys everywhere! The house of lords has changed our family crest in the name of political correctness! the head above our sheild was originally a black man. That head acctually represented the severed head of an african warlord, a warlord our familymember brought home from the Christian crusades atop a pole. It was such a shocking image, it was memorialized atop our crest. now it's the head of a whiteman with red hair. So it seems the brits no longer condone killing african warlords but it's o.k. to kill irish? anyway, don't let our history become polluted. i've been researching us for years and i've found on the mayflowers manifest, records of a selby wedding at sea during it's voyage to the new world. I'm constantly finding amazing things done by amazing men and women with this ancient surname.

Janice Johnson
I am so glad to see your website finally using the Roman Numerals after Kings/Queens' names now. =) One problem yet, though, is you do not put like "nd" for second, "st" for first, etc. after it. In other words--NOT like King Henry VIIIth, but just as Henry VIII. Before, when you had Arabic numbers afterwards--as Henry 11--it made me think the eleventh, instead of second.