This unusual and interesting surname, widely recorded in the West Country, is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name believed to be a variant either of Kentisbury or Kentisbeare in Devonshire, with an excrescent initial "S-". The former place, recorded as "Chentesberie" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as "Kentelesberi" in the Episcopal Registers of that county, dated 1260, has as its initial element the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Caentel", with "burg, burh", fort, fortified place. The latter place, appearing as "Chentesbere" in the Domesday Book, and as "Kentelesbere" in the 1242 Feet of Fines, shares the same initial element, with "bearu", grove, wood. Locational surnames, such as this, were originally given to local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. Regional and dialectal differences subsequently produced several variations on the original spelling of the name, which in the modern idiom is found as: Scantlebury, Scanterbury and Scintsbury. On October 22nd 1610, Oliverus Scantlebury and Parnella Zaier were married in Buckland Monachorum, Devonshire; and on September 24th 1623, Thomas, son of Emblen Scantlebury, was christened at St. Columb Major, Cornwall. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Kenesbeare, which was dated September 8th 1570, a christening witness at Upottery, Devonshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, 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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