This interesting and unusual surname is of Scandinavian origin, and is a locational name from any of three places: Lazenby in Ormesby in the North Riding of Yorkshire, recorded as "Laisinbia" and "Le(i)singebi" in the Domesday Book of 1086; Lazenby in Northallerton in the North Riding of Yorkshire, recorded as "Leisinghi" in the Domesday Book, and as "Leysingeby" in the 1204 Feet of Fines; and Lazonby in Cumberland, recorded as "Leisingebi" in the Domesday Book. All three placenames share the same meaning and derivation, which is from the Old Norse "leysing", freedman (also used as a byname and personal name), and "byr", farm, settlement; hence, "the freedman's farm". Locational surnames were given to the lord of the manor, and to those former inhabitants who left to live or work in another area, and in this way the spelling of the name often changed with varying regional pronunciations. John de Laysingby is listed in the 1361 Assize Rolls of Yorkshire. In the modern idiom the surname can be found as Lazenby, Lasenby, Lasenbury, Lasenbery, Lazenberry and Lazenbury. Recordings of the surname from English Church Registers include: the christening of Ellen Lazenby on April 6th 1646, at St. Michael-le-Belfrey, Yorkshire; the christening of Frances, daughter of Richard and Frances Lazenberry, on September 15th 1692, at St. Paul's, Covent Garden, Westminster, London; and the christening of Mary, daughter of Henry and Mercy Lazenbury, on November 25th 1832, at Horsington, Somerset. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Leisingeby, which was dated 1204, in the "Pleas before the King", Yorkshire, during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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