This unusual surname is of early medieval Scottish origin, and is a locational name from the lands of Dryburgh in the parish of Merton, Berwickshire, so called from the Olde English pre 7th Century "dryge", dry, with "burg, burh", fortified place, fort. As a second element in placenames, "burg" appears variously as -borough, -burgh, -berry and -bury. Frequently, the reference is to a British (pre-Roman) fort, though sometimes an Anglo-Saxon fort is referred to. Dryburgh Abbey, a monastic ruin, dating from 1150, is in South West Berwickshire, and in St.Mary's Aisle is the tomb of Sir Walter Scott (1771 - 1832). Locational surnames were originally given to the lord of the manor, or as a means of identification to those who left their place of origin to settle elsewhere. The first recorded namebearer (below), also appears as Magister Peter de Driburght, circa 1215. The surname development has included: Dribrucht and Driburch (Scotland, 1484 and 1550 respectively). On April 12th 1598, Janet Dryburghe and John Rogers were married in Edinburgh, Midlothian, and in 1680, one John Dryburgh was servitor to the Lord Sinclair. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is a black shield, with three silver martlets in fess. In heraldry, the martlet indicates one who subsists on Wings of Virtue and Merit, having little land to rest on. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Peter de Dribur, which was dated 1208, charter witness, in the "Register of the Monastery of Paisley", during the reign of King William of Scotland, known as "The Lion", 1165 - 1214. 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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