This unusual name is one of the many variant Anglicized forms of the Scottish and Irish name more familiar as Gillespie. This itself is the most frequently found Anglicization of the Scottish Gaelic name "Mac Gille Easbuig", and of the Irish Gaelic "Mac Giolla Epscoip" or "Easpuig". Both of these names are patronymic forms ("mac" son of) of a byname meaning "servant of the bishop". The Gaelic "easbuig" or "epscoip, easping", is ultimately derived from the Latin "eposcop-us", bishop. The modern Anglicized forms of the name include M(a)c Gillaspick, Gillesp(e)y, Gillaspy, Gilhespy, Glasb(e)y, Galasby, Aspig and Aspol. In Ireland the forms Glasby, Glasbey and Glashby are often found in County Louth, while one family, formerly Gillespie, use the variant "Glaspey". The name is also well recorded in England from the 16th Century on: Jone Glasby married George Pendred in London on June 1571, and one James Glasby was christened at St Olave's, Southwark, in London, on September 2nd 1656. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Mac Giolla Epscoip, which was dated circa 1199, chief of the Barony of Iveagh, County Down, during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. 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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