SDB Popularity Ranking: 45973

Last name: Spelsbury

SDB Popularity ranking: 45973

Recorded as Spelsbury, Spilbury, Spilsburie and Spilsbury, this is an English locational surname. It originates from the village of Spelsbury in the county of Oxfordshire. This place is first recorded as "Speoles byrig" in the Cartularium Saxonicum dated 1010 a.d. The meaning is probably the "watch tower", since in 1086 in the famous Domesday Book, the place name appears as Spelesberie. This would seem to be a clear borrowing from the Olde English pre 7th century word "speol" meaning watchful and "burh", a fortress or defensive tower. It is not clear as to when the surname was first recorded, as locational surnames tend to be "from" names. That is to say names given to people after they left their original home for whatever reason, to live somewhere else. In so doing they took, or often were given, as their surname, the name of their former home. Spelling being at best erratic, soon lead to the development of "sounds like" spellings. Canon Charles Bardsley in his famous "Dictionary of English and Welsh surnames" in 1880, gives as his first recording the year 1621, when John Spilsbury of Worcester, is recorded as a student in register of Oxford University, and in 1633 Thomas Spilsburie, the son of Thomas Spilsburie, was baptised at St Georges Chapel, Hanover Square, Westminster

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Surname scroll for: Spelsbury

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