Recorded as Nibley, Nibloe, Niblow, Niblock, Nubley, Knubley, and possibly others, this is an English surname. It is locational from any or all of the three villages called Nibley in the county of Gloucestershire. North Nibley is first recorded in the register of records known as the Cartularium Saxonicum, in the year 940 a.d. as 'Hnibban lege.' This suggests a meaning of the farm or settlement on the hill top, from the pre 6th century Olde English word 'hnybbe' meaning a point or tip (of a hill), and 'lege', a version of 'leah', meaning a fenced area cleared for agriculture. Locational surnames are usually 'from' names, and were given to people after they left their original homes to move somewhere else. Given that spelling was at best indifferent usually lead as with this name to the development of many variant spellings some quite far removed from the original forms. In this case as well, it would seem that Nibley near Awre, no longer exists as a village, suggesting that it was deliberately 'cleared' and the inhabitants given no choice, but to move off to other areas. When this happened former villagers would head for the city of London, and the name is very well recorded in the surviving registers of London from the late Stuart Period. Examples include Daniel Niblo who married Rachel Young at the famous church of St Mary-le-Bone, on August 10th 1692, Richard Nibley, a christening witness at St Sepulchre church, on May 1st 1758, and Jame Niblock, who married Elizabeth Gordon at St Clement Danes, on May 18th 1813.
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