Recorded as Bielby, Bilbey, Bilby, Bylby, and probably others, this is an English surname. It is locational and almost certainly originates from the village of Bielby, near the small town of Pocklington in the East Riding of Yorkshire. This is recorded in the famous Domesday Book of England in 1086 as Belebi. However it is also just possible that some bameholders originate from the similar meaning villages of Beelsby, across the River Humber in the county of Lincolnshire, and recorded in Domesday Book as Belesbi, or Bilby in Nottinghamshire recorded as Billebi in Domesady Book. All have a Danish-Viking association through the suffix bi, a short form of byr and meaning a farm, although the prefix in all cases is more difficult. It could mean "bell," and hence have been some sort of look out post with a bell and a means of giving warning of the approach of strangers to the neighbourhood, or it could have been a personal name. The first recording which would seem to prove the origin, is that of Robertus de Bilby. He appears in the famous Poll Tax register for the county of Yorkshire in the year 1379, and may have been the lord of the manor of Bielby. Some two centuries later and far away in the city of London, Mary Bylby married Ralph Alway in 1544, although the church is not known.
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