This is an English locational name from the village of Bransby in Lincolnshire. The place name is first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Branzbi' and later (1115) as 'Brandesby', these recordings showing that the derivation is from the Olde Norse personal name 'Brandr' meaning 'sword' and 'byr', the whole meaning being 'Brand's village or homestead'. The ending 'by' usually denotes a village or township in an area of England where Scandinavians settled. Locational names were usually given to the lord of the manor and to the local inhabitants and especially to those who left their original homes and went to live or work in another town or village. One Thomas Bransby was an early settler in America, being listed in the 'Munster of the Inhabitants of Virginia' as resident in 'James Citty' in 1624. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Maria Bransbye, christened. which was dated 17th December 1553, Dunsby by Bourne, Lincolnshire. during the reign of Queen Mary 'Bloody Mary' 1553-1558. 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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