This interesting surname is of Old Norse origin, and is a locational name from any one of the places called Dolby, in Leicestershire, near Melton Mowbray, in Lincolnshire, near Spilsby, and in the North Riding of Yorkshire, near Terrington. All three places are recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Dalbi", and all share the same meaning and derivation, which is "farm in the valley", from the Old Norse "dalr", valley, with "byr", farm, settlement. The surname is found most frequently in Yorkshire, and therefore probably derives mainly from Dolby in that county.Locational surnames were mostly acquired by those former inhabitants of a place who had moved to another area, and were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace. The surname is first recorded in the mid 12th Century (see below), and can also be found as Dalby, Dalbey, Daulby, Dolbey and the apparently Norman form D'Aulby. Thomas Dolbe is noted in the Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire (1273). On September 17th 1605, Richard Dolby married Dorothie Barrett at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London, and Nicholas Dolby married Anna Harrison on October 19th 1623 at St. Peter's, Paul's Wharf, London. A Coat of Arms granted to the Dolby family is a Barry wavy of six silver and red, the Crest being a silver demi griffin couped, winged and beaked gold. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Matthew de Dalbi, which was dated 1160, in the "Documents relating to the Danelaw", Lincolnshire, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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