This interesting name widely recorded in Lincolnshire Church Registers under the variant spellings Rathbie, Raithbie, Raitheby, etc., from the mid 16th Century is of English locational origin from either of two places in Lincolnshire called Raithby. The one near Louth, recorded as "Radresbi" in the Domesday Book of 1086 and as "Reithebi" in the Danelaw Charters of that county circa 1150, is so called from the Old Norse personal name "Hreitharr", plus the Old Norse "by", a settlement; hence, "Hreithar settlement". The other near Spilsby, appearing as "Radebi" in the Domesday Book and as "Rathebi" in the 1202 Assize Court Rolls of Lincolnshire, has as its first element the Old Norse personal name "Hrathi", (Old Danish, "Rathi"), plus "by"; hence, "Rathi's by". On October 23rd 1579, Christopher Raithbie and Anne Johnsonne were married in the Church at Hannah cum Hagnaby, Lincolnshire, and on October 16th 1602 John, son of Thomas Ratihby, was christened at Panton. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Willmus Rathbie, which was dated October 13th 1561, marriage to Magdelana Dixon, at "Panton, Lincolnshire", during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st, 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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