Recorded in a number of spellings all of which overlap, including Bagby, Baggby, Begbie, Bigby, and Bugby, this is an English locational surname, but of Viking antecedents. It almost certainly originates from a small village in North Yorkshire called Bagby, or possibly from a now "lost" medieval hamlet of which the only surviving memory today is the surname. Bagby village is first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 in the spelling of "Baghebi", and later in the Yorkshire Charter Rolls, of 1160 as Baggaby. The derivation is from an Old Norse, Danish and Swedish personal name 'Baggi' with the Old English pre 7th Century or Old Scandinavian "byr", meaning a homestead, a common second element in the parts of England where Scandinavians settled. Amongst the early recordings taken from authentic church registers are the christenings of Henry Bagby on April 5th 1640 at St. John's, Hackney, London, and in Kirkby Fleetham, Yorkshire, of William Bagby on August 21st 1692 whilst John Begbie married Ann Hatton at St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on January 18th 1735. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Richard Bagbie, which was dated September 25th 1597, at St. Giles Cripplegate, London. This was during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558-1603. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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