North of Sedbergh and near to the village of Orton in Cumbria lies the settlement of Raisbeck. The origination is Norse-Viking pre 9th Century and deriving from 'Hrridarr', a personal name, plus 'beck' - a stream or river. 'Raisthorp', a village in East Yorkshire has similar origins - 'The farm (Torp) or Hrridarr'. The surname of Raisbeck is well recorded in the London area from the early 17th Century, suggesting a wholesale evacuation of the village, either as a result of plaque or sheep farming. The name recordings include James Raesbecke, a witness at Newton Reigny Church on April 19th 1635, and John Rayesbecke who married Ann Moses on January 26th 1671, at Kirkland, North Penrith. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Raisbecke, which was dated July 2nd 1604, married Ellin Bettes at St. Dunstans Church, Stepney, during the reign of King James I of England and VI of Scotland, 1605 - 1625. 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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