This unusual and interesting name is an English locational surname, from the places named 'Fosbury' in Wiltshire. There is a village of Fosbury, in Tidcombe, by Fosbury Camp on a hill some 833 feet high, and Fosbury West, in West Overton. The first mentioned is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Fostesberge' and by 1270 as 'Fortesbery'. The meaning is the 'chief(tain)'s fortified place or fort', from the Old English pre 7th century 'forwost', chief, chieftain, and 'burg', fort. Locational names were used particularly of those people who left their original homes and went to live or work in another area, thus dispersing the surname. One Robert Fosberry married Joane Arden on the 2nd January 1613 at St. Katherine's-by-the-Tower, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Joana Fosberye, married Fitt Fitz Medsin (sic). which was dated 17th June 1565, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London. during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I 'Good Queen Bess' 1558-1603. 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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