Recorded in several spellings including Brasby, Brosbey, Brusby, Bursby and no doubt others, this is an English surname. It is locational from some place presumably with the spelling of one of the surname forms, although no such place is known to exist in any of the gazetters of the British Isles covering the last three centuries. Before then such maps as existed, were too inaccurate to provide any acceptable evidence. Surnames from lost villages are a feature of the surname listings, and it is estimated that over five thousand do come from that source, with the surname often providing the only physical evidence that such a place existed at all. The make up of the name with the suffix "-by," would suggest that it comes from part of the country formerly under Viking control, "-by" being a short form of the Scandanavian word "-byr" meaning a farm, although the prefix may have been "burg" meaning a fort. The place may well have been in East Anglia, although we have no definitive proof. Early examples of the surname recording taken from surviving church registers include Edward Bursby at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on January 18th 1589, and Richard Brusby at St Botolphs without Aldgate, in the city of London, on June 9th 1720.
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