Recorded in a wide range of spellings which may include Houseby, Housbie, Hosby, Husby, Hawsby, Esseby, Ousby, Osby and perhaps others, this is an English locational surname, but with a dash of pre 7th century Viking. It probably originates from the village of Ousby in the county of Cumberland. The place name is believed to means 'Ulf's settlement' from the personal name Ulf, a short form of wolf, and 'bi' a farm or settlement. An alternative location are the various villages called Easby or which there are at least three examples, two in Yorkshire and one in Cumberland.All seem to share the same origin of 'Ash farm' from a proximity to ash woods. Locational surnames are usually 'from' names. That is to say surnames that were given to people as easy identification, after they left their original homes to move somewhere else. The further they moved the more likely that the spelling adopted a 'sounds like' appearance. Early examples of the surname recordings include Alicia Easbye at St Olaves church, York, on September 12th 1539, Francis Housbie or Housbey who married William Constantine at the church of St Stephen and St Benet in the city of London on December 5th 1604, and John Ousby who married Isabell Grainger at Penrith, in Cumbria, on June 24th 1633.
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