This most interesting surname is of Old Scandinavian origin, and is a variant of Keadby, a locational surname from a place so called near Lindsey in Lincolnshire, which appears as "Ketebi" in 1185, in Records of the Templars in England, and as "Keteby" in the Hundred Rolls of 1275. The placename itself is composed of the Old Danish personal name "Kaeti, Keti", and the Old Norse "byr, baer", Old Danish, Old Swedish, Olde English, "by", a village or homestead, a common element in the parts of England where Scandinavians settled. During the Middle Ages, when migration for the purpose of job-seeking was becoming more common, people often used their former village name as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name and, in some cases, in many different spellings. Early examples include the marriage of Jane Kedby and Thomas Kyme on March 2nd 1578 at Friskney, Lincolnshire; the christening of Jana, daughter of Robert Keadbye, on September 16th 1598, at Manby, Lincolnshire; and the marriage of Beniamyn Kidby and Jane Harrison at All Hallows, London Wall, London, on November 19th 1649. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Kedby, which was dated June 13th 1562, a christening witness at Long Sutton, in Lincolnshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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