This unusual surname is an example of an English locational name coming from the Parish of Lathbury in Buckinghamshire near Newport Pagnell. The placename was first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Latesberie' and by 1163 as 'Lateberi'. The derivation is from the Old English pre 7th Century 'laett' meaning 'lath', a thin narrow strip of wood, and 'burg' which usually meant a fortified place, particulary one which had been Roman, and could also mean a fortified manor house or homestead, here the name means a 'burg' (a fort), built of laths. Locational names were especially used by those people who left their original homes and went to live or work in another town or village. On June 30th 1540 Joan Lathbury an infant, was christened in St. Margaret's, Westminster, London and on May 9th 1581 the marriage of John Lathbury and Luce Collinwood took place in St. James, Clerkenwell, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Domina de Lathbiry, which was dated 1273 in the Hundred Rolls of Buckinghamshire, during the reign of King Edward 1st known as 'The Hammer of the Scots' 1272-1307. 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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