This interesting and unusual name with variant spelling Rickaby is of English locational origin from a place called, "Rickerby" in the parish of Stanwix in Cumberland, which was originally recorded as "Ricardeby" in the Inquisitions post mortem of 1247. The place name means "Richard's by", the settlement of Richard, "by", being a common second element in the parts of England where Scandinavians settled. Richard derives from a Germanic personal name composed of the elements "vic", power, plus "hard", brave, strong which was found in Old English and popularized under the Normans. The surname appears in the Cumberland church registers on December 16th 1560, when one Marion Richardbie was christened at St. Andrews, Penrith. The London church records first record the name on April 20th 1574, when one Alice Rycarby married Anthony Skynner at St. Dunstan in the East, while Francis Ricarby was christened there also on May 12th 1577. Thomas Rickerby married Jane Sanderson at St. Luke, Old Street, Finsbury, London on August 9th 1491. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Homines de Ricardeby, which was dated 1292, in the Placita de Quo Warranto, during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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