Recorded as Lumby, Lumbley, Lumbly, Lumley, Lumly and possibly others, this is an English locational surname. In the spelling of Lumley is is the family name of the earls of Scarborough. It originates either from the village of Castle Lumley, in the parish of Chester-le-Street, County Durham, or from Lumby, a former township within the parish of Sherburn in the county of Yorkshire. The relative closeness of the two places, both being adjacent to the former Great North Road, has meant that over the centuries the spellings of both the place names and the surnames overlapped to the point where it is usually not possible to state the origin of a particular family. Lumby in Yorkshire translates as the farm (-byr) near the grove (of woods) and was first recorded as Lundby in the famous Anglo-Saxon Chronicles of the year 963 a.d.. Lumley in Durham is from the original Lumleia, meaning the enclosure by the water, and as such it is first recorded in 1160. The earliest recording as a surname is that of Roger de Lumelye of Leicestershire in the Hundred Rolls of landowners of 1273, whilst Robertus de Lumby appears in the Poll Tax register for Yorkshire in 1379. The Lumley's of Lumley Castle, County Durham, were first enobled in the 14th century, aned claim descent from a Viking called Ligulf at the time of the Norman Conquest of 1066.
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