This very unusual and interesting name is of early medieval English origin, and derives from the Middle English term "nechebure", a compound of the Olde English pre 7th Century "neah", near, and "gebur", dweller, from "bur", a small dwelling or building. As a surname the term may have developed from a nickname for someone who was thought to be a "good neighbour", but it is more likely to derive from the common use of the word as a term of address. The surname development includes the following: William le Neybere (1309, Bedfordshire), and Bartholomew Neighbour (1327, Essex). The modern surname can be found as Neighbour and Naybour. Among the recordings of the name in London are those of the christening of John Neighbour, at the Church of St. Bartholomew the Great, on December 5th 1619, and the marriage of William Neighbour and Elizabeth Ward at the Chruch of St. Bride's, Fleet Street, on June 21st 1678. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph Nechebur, which was dated 1222, in the "Domesday of St. Paul's, Hertfordshire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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