This interesting and unusual name means 'the farm or settlement ('by' from 'byr') of the Angles or English'. The Old English pre 7th century word 'Englisc' had originally distinguished Angles from Saxons, but by the time surnames were being acquired it no longer had this meaning. In Scotland 'Inglis' denoted an Englishman as opposed to a Scottish borderer or Celtic Scot, while 'English' in the Welsh border counties would mean an Englishman in a mainly Welsh community. It was also used as a distinguishing name after 1066, when there was an official distinction - 'Angli' and 'Franci' - between the native defeated English and the conquering Normans. This would account for the name being widespread in the southern counties as well as the border areas. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Francis Inglishbe which was dated Christened 29th October 1609 Thirsk, Yorkshire during the reign of King James I of England and VI of Scotlnad 1603-1625. 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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