This is a location surname of Anglo-Saxon pre 8th century origins. It derives from a village called "Gatenby" in North Yorkshire. The placename is first recorded in the famous Domesday Book of 1086 as "Ghetenesbi", and as "Gaitenebi" in the Curia Regis Rolls for the county of 1208, and then as "Geytenby" in the 1231 register known as the "Feet of Fines". The village name is comprised of the elements "Gaithan", an Olde English or Gaelic personal name, and the later Norse-Viking "byr", meaning a dairy farm or sometimes as settlement. Locational surnames were usually given to "strangers", the easiest form of identification being to call such people by the name of the place from whence they originated. Sometimes the surname describes the descendants of the original lords of the manor, but without a full genealogical research it is not usually possible to tell the precise origin. Examples of early recordings taken from surviving church registers of the post medieval period include, Richard Gatenby, christened on July 2nd 1648 at Egton, Yorkshire, and another Richard Gatenby a century later, who married Hannah Scot on April 7th 1745 at Lythe, in Westmorland. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Robert Gatenby, which was dated January 30th 1619 at Sessay, North Yorkshire. This was during the reign of King James 1st of England, and V1 of Scotland, 1603 - 1625. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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