This is an English locational surname. It originates from the village of Bellerby near to the town of Leyburn, in the Yokshire Dales region. The place name probably means the farm (-bi) of the Belgae, an Olde English tribe who were famous around the time of the Roman period upto about the 5th century. However it may also have been a descriptive name for a hollow or nook of land, as the Olde Norse word 'belgr' means a sack or bag, and was used in a transferred sense to describe a hollow. Another possibility is that the first element is a personal name such as Belgiar, a Norse-Viking name, the area being generally under 'Viking' control for several centuries. Locational surnames are usually 'from' names. That is to say names given either to the local lord of the manor and his descendants, or to other people after they left the village to move somewhere else. In so doing they took, or were given, as their surname the name of their former home. Spelling being at best indifferent, often lead to the development of 'sounds like' spellings. The first known recording of the surname is probably that of Hugh de Belerbie, in the Poll Tax rolls of the county of Lincolnshire in 1379.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017