This uncommon name is of Old Scandinavian origin, and is a locational surname deriving from the town called Oadby, situated to the south east of the city of Leicester. The county of Leicestershire was once part of the area known as Scandinavian Mercia, with Lincolnshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and parts of Northamptonshire, and there are many placenames in the region which reflect the Old Scandinavian influence and dominion. The place now called Oadby is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Oldebi"; in the Leicestershire Feet of Fines of 1199 as "Outheby"; and in the 1204 Curia Rolls of the county as "Oudeby". The name is derived from the Old Norse personal name "Authi", Old Danish "Othi", from a short form of various compound personal names with the first element "auth", riches, prosperity, and the Old Norse "byr", Old Danish "by", homestead, village; hence, "Authi's homestead". Locational surnames were used particularly as a means of identification by those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere, this migration frequently giving rise to variant forms of the original name. The modern forms of the name are Odby, Oddboy, Hidby and Hodby, and the following are examples from Church Registers: Elisebeth Hodbee, married to Thomas Turner in Clerkenwell, London, on October 11th 1669, and Frances Hodby, who married Thomas Rowlett on December 11th 1674, at Harrington, Northamptonshire. The family Coat of Arms depicts three doves, proper, on a blue shield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Margaret Odebye, which was dated November 7th 1572, christened at Husbands Bosworth, Leicestershire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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