Recorded as Selby and Selbie, this is an English surname. It is locational from the parish and market town of Selby in the East Riding of Yorkshire. It is called from the pre 7th century Old Norse word "selja" meaning willow and "-by", a farm or settlement. The earliest recording of the placename is as Selby in the early Yorkshire Charters of 1030. This was during the Danelaw, a period when the Vikings ruled most of Northern Englland. The surname is ancient. As an example the town of Riddleston in Northumberland was granted in 1272 by King Edward Ist of England to Sir Walter de Selby. It has ever since remained in the possession of his descendants, whilst Johannes de Selby appears in the Poll Tax rolls of Yorkshire in 1379. Early examples of the surname recording in surviving church registers include Agnes Selby who was christened on September 13th 1618, at Calverley, in Yorkshire, whilst Jane Dixon married Andrew Selby on July 5th 1822 at St Peters church, Leeds. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Selebia. This was dated 1175, in the Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire, during the reign of King Henry IInd of England, 1154 - 1189. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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