This most interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is an English locational name from "Quenby" in Leicestershire, near Hungarton, which appeared as "Qveneberie" in the Domesday Book of 1086. The placename itself is derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century words "cwene-burg", meaning "the queen's manor"; the second element was replaced by the Old Scandinavian element "by", village, settlement. Locational surnames were originally given as a means of identification to those who left their village or place of origin to settle elsewhere.The surname first appears in Church Registers in the late 16th Century (see below), while other early examples of the surname include the marriage of Elizabeth Quenbye and Thomas Hastings on September 26th 1575 at Uxbridge, London; the marriage of Henrie and Jone Quenbie at Tattershall in Leicestershire on October 6th 1594; the christening of William Quenbie also at Tattershall on March 28th 1596; and the christening of Elizabeth S. Quemby at St. Mary le Strand, Westminster, on September 24th 1837. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alyce Quynbie, which was dated September 24th 1572, marriage to John Locker, at St. Giles', Cripplegate, London, 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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