The little Norse-Viking village of Fearby in North Yorkshire is the origin of this name whose spelling has often been changed by local dialect. There are many variants including: Fearby, Furby, Firby, Fierby, Ferby, Ferbey, Ferbee, Furbee and even Feereby, but all have the same origin which translates as 'the beautiful farm' from the original 'fegro-bi'. It would seem that in the medieval period a wholesale evacuation of the village took place. This accounting for the large number of London recordings. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Christopher Furby. which was dated 1591 Married Agnes Headly at St. Bolotophs, 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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