This long-established surname may be of early medieval English or medieval Scottish origin, and is a locational name either from Great or Little Busby, two parishes south of Stokesley in the North Riding of Yorkshire, or from the lands of Busby in the parish of Carmunnock, Renfrewshire. The Yorkshire places were initially recorded as "Buschebi" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and variously as "Magna Buskebi" and "Parva Buskeby" in Early Yorkshire Charters, dated circa 1185, and are so named from the Old Norse "buski", bush, shrub, and "byr", homestead, village; hence, "homestead by a thicket of bushes". The Scottish place is believed to be named with the same elements. Locational surnames, such as this, were originally given to local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. Bushby in Leicestershire, recorded as "Buzzebia" in the Domesday Book and translating as "the homestead ("byr") of Butr (an Old Norse personal name)" may also have given rise to some instances of the surname. One Ricardus de Busby and an Adam de Buskeby were recorded in the 1379 Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire, and in 1330 the office of notary was conferred on David de Busby of the diocese of Glasgow. John Busby was chaplain to the Duke of Albany in 1408, and Richard Busby (1606- 1695) was described as "a famous schoolmaster and a zealous churchman". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Busseby, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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