Recorded in several diverse forms including Sheasby, Shearsby, Sheesby, Shearsby, Shearsbey, Shersby, Chisbey, Shaseby and no doubt others, it is English. It is locational and originates either from Shearsby, a village near Lutterworth, in the county of Leicestershire, or perhaps from some now 'lost' medieval site of which the only reminder in the 20th century is the surname itself. The surname had some prominence in the 1990's through the English rugby player Sheasby, but this does not alter the fact, that it remains a very rare name. Locational surnames are usually 'from' names. That is to say names given to people after they left their original homes and moved elsewhere. It was and it remains, that often the easiest method of identifying a stranger was to call him, or sometimes her, by the name of the place from whence they came. Spelling over the centuries being at best erratic and local accents very thick, have lead to the development of the variant or 'sounds like' spellings of many names. This surname has a part Danish-Viking pre 9th century origin, the suffix -by, means a farm, whilst the prefix is a derivation of the pre 7th English century word 'scir' meaning cleared land, suitable for agriculture. Early examples of recordings taken from surviving church registers of the city of London, curiously the name does not seem to appear in Leicestershire records, include William Shearsbery, a christening witness to his daughter Prissilla, at the church of St James Garlickhithe, on November 27th 1614, Thomas Shearsby who married Mary Frost at St Margarets Westminster, on December 29th 1668, and Isabella Sheasby, who married William Flint, at the church known as St Ann's Soho, Westminster, on April 13th 1724.
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