This unusual surname is of mixed Anglo-Saxon or Old Norse origin, and is a locational name from some minor or unrecorded place, perhaps a "lost" village, believed to have been in the north of England. The prime cause of village disappearances was the enforced "clearing" and dispersal of the former inhabitants to make way for sheep pastures from the 15th Century onwards, along with natural causes, such as the Black Death of 1348. The prevalence of name recordings in Yorkshire suggests that the village may have been located in that county. Another factor to support this theory is the Scandinavian influence in the derivation of the second element, the Olde English "by", from the Old Norse "byr", homestead, settlement, a common element in parts of England where Scandinavians settled. The first element "pash" derives from the Olde English "paesc", a soft place, pasture land. On November 25th 1593, Jana Pashby and Adamus Smyth were married at Brandesburton, Yorkshire, and on May 3rd 1607, Susanna, daughter of Robart Pashby, was christened in Atwick, Yorkshire. Regional and dialectal differences produced several variations in the spelling of locational names, and in the modern idiom Pashby is also found as Pashbee, Pasby, Passby, Pashba and Peasby. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Pasbie, which was dated April 6th 1591, marriage to Jane Mitchell, at Snaith, Yorkshire, 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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