Recorded in several forms including Fosberry, Fosberye, Fosbray, Fosbraey, and Fosbury, this is an English surname. It is locational from the places called Fosbury in the county of Wiltshire. These are Fosbury by Tidcombe, near to the famous earthwork also known as Fosbury Camp. This place is of Ancient British origins from circa 2000 b.c. whilst nearby is the separate village of Fosbury West. The first village is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Fostesberge and by 1270 as Fortesbery. The meaning is the 'chieftains fortified place', from the Old English pre 7th century 'forwost', meaning chief, and 'burg', a fortress. 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. An example is that of Robert Fosbury who married Joane Arden at St. Katherine's-by-the-Tower (of London) in 1613. An even earlier example is that of Joana Fosberye. She married the exotically named Fitt Fitz Medsin in 1565 at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth Ist of England, 1558-1603. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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