This interesting surname, widely recorded in Church Registers of Staffordshire and Warwickshire from the mid 16th Century under the variant spellings Goldby, Goldsby, Golsby, Gouldeby and Gowlbie, is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name believed to be from some minor, unrecorded or now "lost" place, one situated in the West Midlands of England, because of the high incidence of early surname recordings from that area. The component elements of the placename are believed to be the Olde English pre 7th Century "golde", marigold, a derivative of "gold", gold, with the Olde English "by", from the Old Scandinavian "byr", homestead, settlement. Alternatively, Golby may ultimately derive from Goulceby, a parish and village near Horncastle in Lincolnshire, recorded as "Colchesbi" in the Domesday Book of 1086; as "Golckesbi" in 1185; and as "Golcebi" in the 1202 Assize Court Rolls of that county. The component elements of this placename are the Old Norse personal name "Kolkr", with "byr" (as above). In 1221, one Ralph de Golkesbi, witness, was noted in the Assize Court Rolls of Lincolnshire, and on December 9th 1583, Alice, daughter of George Gowlbie, was christened at Wolfhampcote, Warwickshire. The marriage of Edward Golby to Lettis Mathewes took place at St. Andrew by the Wardrobe, London, on July 11th 1615. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger Golybey, which was dated March 7th 1557, christened at Tamworth, Staffordshire, during the reign of Queen Mary, known as "Bloody Mary", 1553 - 1558. 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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