This unusual and interesting surname is of Old Norse origin, and is a locational name from places so called in Leicestershire, for example Frisby on the Wreake or Frisby by Gaulby, deriving from the Old Norse "Frisir" meaning Frisians, plus "byr" farm, settlement. There is also a lost village called "Frisby" in Leicestershire, which is one of the estimated seven to ten thousand villages and hamlets that have now disappeared from the maps in Britain. The prime reason for these disappearances was the enforced "clearing" and dispersal of the former inhabitants to make way for sheep pastures at the height of the wool trade in the 14th Century. Natural causes such as the Black Death of 1348 also contributed to the lost village phenomenon. The surname dates back to the late 13th Century, (see below), and early recordings include Simon de Friseby (1273) in the Subsidy Rolls of Lincolnshire, and Robertus de Frysby (1379) in the Poll Tax Records of Yorkshire. Variations in the spelling of the surname include Frisbey, Frisbee, and Frisbie. The Church Records of Leicestershire list the marriages of William Frisby to Margeia Wyttmore on the 6th November 1563 in Thorpe Satchville, Twynford, and of John Frisbie to Joane Coxe on the 14th June 1599 in Humberstone. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John de Friseby, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Leicestershire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as the Hammer of the Scots, 1272 - 1307. 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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