This interesting name is of Old Norse origin, and is a locational surname deriving from the place called Rigby in Lancashire. The placename means "the homestead or village on the ridge", originally, "the farm on the ridge", derived from the Old Norse elements "hryggr", ridge, back, and "by, byr", farm, homestead, and later, village. The place called Rigsby in Lincolnshire is named with the same elements, and may in some instances be the source for the modern surname Rigby and Rigeby. Locational surnames were usually acquired by those former inhabitants of a place who moved to another area, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. The surname development includes: Henry de Ryggeby (1285, Lancashire), and Thomas Rygby (1453, Essex). Recordings of the surname from London Church Registers include: Elizabeth, daughter of John Rigbye, who was christened on July 21st 1599, at St. Bride's, Fleet Street; the marriage of Jone Rigbye and Richard Baylie on July 30th 1609, at St. Margaret's, Westminster; and the marriage of Hewche Rigbye and Elyzabeath Dwram on February 9th 1612, at St. Olave's, Old Jewry. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gilbert de Rigebi, which was dated 1208, in the "Pipe Rolls of Lincolnshire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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