Recorded in many spellings over the centuries some of which are shown below, this is a Scottish locational name. It originates from the barony of Ogilvie, near Glamis in the former county of Angus. In the modern idiom the spellings including Ogilvie, Ogilvy, Ogilby, Ogilsby, Oglesbee, and others. The name probably derives from the pre 7th century Olde Welsh word "ugl" meaning high and "-bi," a Viking word for a farm. The earliest recordings include those of Gilbert, the son of Gillebride, the first Earl of Angus.He was the first to assume the surname, when he was granted the manor of Ogilvy in 1172, whilst Walter de Ogilby was appointed High Treasurer of Scotland in 1425, and David of Ogilby was hostage for the King of Scotland in 1425. Other spellings include those of Ogelbe in 1531, Ogglebie in 1665, and Oglevie in 1661. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alexander de Oggoluin. This was dated 1232, in the miscellany of the Scottish Historical Society, Edinburgh, during the reign of Alexander 11, 1214 - 1249. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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