This is an English locational surname. Recorded as Shakesby, Shakesbye, Shaksbey, Shaxby, Shackesby, and no doubt others, it originates from some place whose spelling is reflected in the surname. However no such place has been identified, and therefore we assume that it is from what is now known as a 'lost' medieval village. At least three thousand surnames of the British Isles do derive from places that have completely disappeared from all known gazetters and maps, and this would certainly seem to be one to add to the growing list. The surname spelling suggests that the original place name may have been 'Sceacere-bi,' which if so, translates as 'Robbers Farm'. The second element of 'bi' is pre 7th century Danish Viking, and places with these endings proliferate around the county of Lincolnshire. If the first element is Old English, and we can find no other logical explanation, this may suggest that Vikings captured and held onto an Anglo-Saxon farm, and hence were characterised as 'robbers'. This meaning has no reflection on the later name holders, except that they came from such a place. Many villages on the East Coats of England have been swept away by coastal erosion, and this may be one of them. Early examples of name recordings taken from surviving church registers include the exotically named Passwater Shakesbye at the church of St Martin Ludgate in the city of London, on April 2nd 1610, and Elizabeth Shaskesby who married Edward Compton at St Katherines by the Tower (of London), on April 21st 1641.
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