This interesting and unusual name is locational. Its origins are Norse-Viking pre 9th century, and it derives either from the two villages called "Beelby" in Lincolnshire, and "Bielby" in Yorkshire or from individual farms of the same spelling. The name translates as "Beli's farm", with "Beli" being a popular tribal name originally from the Roman (Latin) "Belli" meaning war or war-like, and the usual Norse term for a farm "bi". Both placenames are first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 in the spelling of "Belebi", although the surname is much later. Locational surnames developed either through the lord of the manor, as shown in the first name recording below, or more usually when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. The modern surname can be found as Bielby or Beilby, whilst among the sample recordings are the marriages of John Bielby and Eliza June Gardner on April 22nd 1834 at St. John the Baptist, Shoreditch, London, and Henry Bielby and Eliza Stoakman on March 27th 1837 at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter de Beleby, which was dated 1202, a witness at the Assize Court of Lincoln, during the reign of King John of England, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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