Recorded in several forms including Groby, Gruby, Grooby, Grubey and Grewbey, this is an English locational surname. It originates from the village of Groby, near the city of Leicester, in the English Midland region. The village name has been recorded in several spellings over the centuries, which in turn may have caused the surname spellings to vary. The first known recording of the village name was in the year 1086, during the survey known as "The Domesday Book", when all villages in England were recorded for the first time.The spelling then was as Grobi, whilst later in about 1140 it is recorded as Groubi, and later still in 1189 as Groubi. The meaning of the name is uncertain, the suffix "bi" is from the Viking "byr" and means a farm. The prefix may be a short form of the Anglo-Saxon word "grouba" meaning a pit or hollow. This seems a likely explanation, as coal was mined in the county for many centuries. As to when the surname was first recorded is also uncertain, although the village itself was "enobled" in the 16th century, Lord Grey of Groby being a famous parliamentary leader in the time of the English Civil Wars 1640 - 1660. Examples of early name recordings include Mary Gruby, christened at the famous church of St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on August 22nd 1681, whilst on May 6th 1866, Thomas Grewbey was a witness at the church of St Boltolphs without Aldgate, city of London.
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