This name, as with many Olde Scandinavian names, is composed of disparate elements that are meaningless as a unit but have individual histories and derivations. In this instance, 'Hanbury' is an Anglo-Saxon locational surname from the place called Hanbury in Staffordshire or Worcestershire, named from the Olde English pre 7th Century phrase 'aet thaem hean byrg', meaning 'at the high fortress'. 'Hanbury' can also be from 'Handborough' in Oxfordshire, so called from the Olde English byname 'Hagena', hawthorn, and 'beorg', hill. As an individual surname Hanbury is first recorded in 1196 in Staffordshire, as William de Haneberge. The name 'Brown' is derived from the Olde English 'brun', and is generally a nickname referring to the colour of someone's hair, skin or clothing. A personal name, Bruni, is from the same source. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William le Brun, which was dated 1169, The Northumberland Pipe Rolls, during the reign of King Henry II, The Builder of Churches, 1154 - 1189. 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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