Recorded as Kasby, Kesbee, Kesbie, Kesby, Kisbee, Kisbey, Kisby, and others, this is an English locational surname, with a dash of Danish-Viking. It is locational and probably originates from either Ketsby in Lincolnshire or Kexby in East Yorkshire. Both place names have undergone considerable change since their first recordings, with Ketsby appearing in the famous Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Chetelesbi', whilst Kexby is recorded as 'Ketelesby' in the pipe rolls of 1160, and only a decade later as Kexebi or Kesebi, in 1170. In both cases the meaning is uncertain, but the prefix is probably the personal name Ketil which does mean a kettle or helmet, and '-bi' a farm. Locational surnames are usually 'from' names. That is to say names given to people after they left their original homes to move somewhere else. Spelling over the centuries being at best indifferent and local dialects very thick, often as with this name, lead to the development of 'sounds like' spellings. The surname is well recorded in the early surviving church registers of the city of London, and examples include Elizabeth Kasbye, christened at Christ Church Greyfriars, on April 21st 1549, Mary Kisby who married Walter King at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on October 23rd 1625, and Samuel Kesbee who married Mary Fruen at St Katherines by the Tower (of London), on July 19th 1674.
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