This unusual and interesting name is of Medieval English origin and is locational from a place so called in Worcestershire. The surname is derived from the Old English pre 7th Century 'ufer', meaning a slope, or ridge, with 'byrig', a town, or fort, thus 'upperburg'. The earliest recording of this placename is listed in the 'Saxon Chartulary' or 875 as 'Uferebreodun', and 'Uferebiri', and later in the Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Overberie'. Amongst the recorded examples of this surname is one, Henry Overbury who is listed on the parish register of St. Michael's, Barbados in July 1678. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Edye Overbury, which was dated 12th May 1594, Aldermanbury, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, '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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