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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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.

Michael Selby
Please give me more info on Selby

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?


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.


I never knew there were so many selbys!

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

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