Recorded as Pilbury and Pilsbury and possibly other forms, this is an English surname. It is locational from the village of Pilsbury in Derbyshire, first recorded in the famous Domesday Book of 1085 as 'Pilesburie'. The actual meaning is open to some conjecture, but a study of similar sounding names of known meaning would suggest that it means "The castle (burg) of piles". This may have been a place on marshy ground built on wooden piles for protection against marauders and rising water, as still applies in some parts of the world, or it may have been constructed of wooden piles, to form a tall fence and one probably set on top of an earth mound. Another possibility is that it was a person's name, but as the name also means 'pile', the arguenment is itself circular. Early examples of recordings include Robert Pilbury, a witness at St Martins in th Field, westminster, on December 19th 1714, and John Pilsbury who married Anne Westcott at St Georges Chapel, Hanover Square, Westminster, on June 1st 1792.
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