This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is locational from the village of Beeby, six miles from Leicester, in Leicestershire. The placename was recorded as "Bebi" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "beo", meaning bee, plus the Old Norse "byr", a settlement or village; hence, "bee settlement". In the modern idiom the surname has many variant spellings including Beeby, Beaby, Beebee and Beebe. Locational surnames, such as this, were usually acquired by a local landowner, or by the lord of the manor, and especially by those former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually in search of work, and were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace. Recordings from English Church Registers include: Recordings from Yorkshire Church Registers include the marriage of Agnes Bebee and William Peerson on October 6th 1549, at Darrington. An early settler in the New World Colonies was John Beeby, aged 17 yrs., who embarked from the Port of London on the "Speedwell", bound for Virginia in May 1635. The family Coat of Arms is a blue shield with three gold eagles displayed, the Crest being a gold mullet. In Heraldry, blue signifies Loyalty and Truth; gold signifies Generosity and Elevation of Mind; and an eagle denotes Magnanimity and Fortitude of Mind. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Anne Bebe, which was dated September 22nd 1549, marriage to Thomas Spare, at St. Martin Orgar and St. Clement, Eastcheap, London, during the reign of King Edward V1, known as "The Boy King", 1547 - 1553. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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