This unusual and interesting name is a variant of the Northern English and Scottish locational surname "Nesbit" or "Nisbit". There are several places so called in the Border region (Northumberland especially), the derivation being from the Northern Middle English "nese", nose plus either the Old English pre 7th Century word "bita" meaning mouthful, or piece of ground, or "byht", a bend (in a river). The placenames could therefore mean either a piece of raised land shaped like a nose, or a bend in a river shaped like a nose.The Scottish Nesbits come from the old barony of Nesbit in Berwickshire. There are six spellings of the name in the modern idiom:- Nisbith, Nisbet, Nesbit(t), Naisbit(t) and Naisbet. Alexander Nisbet (1657 - 1725) was a famous heraldic writer. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Nesbit, charter witness. which was dated c. 1160 - 1200, Records of the Abbey of Kelso. during the reign of King William, the Lion of Scotland, 1165 - 1214. 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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