History does strange things to names and it has not failed with Sobey. The name is a local dialectual spelling which derives originally from the locational name, Soureby or Sourebi, a pre 7th Century Norse-Viking word which means "the farm (bi) on the muddy area" (saurr) and includes the places called Sowerby in Cumberland, Lancashire, Yorkshire and Westmoreland. The name development includes William Sowby (1635, Stepney), Thomas Soubee (1639, Stepney) and Thomas Sobey who married Margaret Franklin at St. Katherine by the Tower in 1689. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry Sobye. which was dated 1582, St. Bopltolphs without Aldgate, London. during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, 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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