Recorded in a wide variety of spellings including Lightbourn, Lighbourne, Lightbound, Lightbown, Lightbowne, and possibly others, this is an English locational surname, which was originally recorded only in the county of Lancashire. It originates from any of the several places in the county so named including Lightbourn, a former village in the parish of Ulverston, North Lancashire, Lightbourne Green, in Swinton, and Lightbowne, a former parish district of Manchester. All seem to have exactly the same meaning of "the clear (or shallow) stream" from the pre 7th century Old English "lygt-burna", although a physical examination of the various areas today may well come to a different conclusion. The surname is apparently first recorded in the Wills Registry which in those far off times was situated either in Chester or Richmond in Yorkshire, and all Wills from throughout the north of England had to be deposited at these places. Normally people from west sent them to Chester, and in the east to Richmond, although interestingly the first name holder shown below, although of Lancashire, was registered in Yorkshire. Perhaps it was a way of preventing others from easily knowing the contents? Early examples of the name recording include Roberte Lightbourne of Eccles in 1598, and James Lightbowne of Manchester, in 1621, both in the Chester Wills register. The first known recording is believed to be that of Roger Lightbourn of Caton, Lancashire, recorded in Richmond Wills register in 1593. This was during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st, 1558 - 1603.
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