This is an English locational surname, but with some 8th century Viking overtones. It derives either from Roxby on Humber, or from 'Roseberry Top' in North Yorkshire, an area from which the majority of the early recordings are found. If neither of these places, then the origination has to be from a now lost medieval village in the same area. Curiously 'Roseberry' itself was first recorded in 1192 a.d. as "Othensberg", which is believed to be a corruption of 'Odin's burg', the fortress of Odin. It takes quite an imagination and a few centuries of dialect and poor spelling to change from "Othensberg" to Roseberry , but that is one of interesting aspects of village and surnames. The modern surname is found in several spellings including Rousby, Rowesby, and Roseby, and examples of the surname recordings, taken from the early church registers of the region include Alese Rowsbye, also recorded as Rousbye, christened at Stokesley, on April 14th 1574, and Anne Rousby, who married Johannes Horsley at Brandesburton, on August 2nd 1636. On April 22nd 1679, Elizabeth Rousbie married Richard Wright at North Burton, John Rosby was christened at Constable Burton on July 27th 1791, and George Roseby, at Pocklington, on July 16th 1838. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Geoffrey de Raunceby, which was dated 1272, in the curia regis rolls of Lincoln, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as 'The Frenchman', 1216 - 1272. 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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