Recorded as Spybey, Spyby, Spiby and possibly others, this is an English surname. It is locational and believed to be from a now "lost" medieval village which may have been in the county of Lincolnshire, although many of the recordings are found in Lancashire. It is also possible that it is a dialectal transposition of Spilsby, a village, which is also in Lincolnshire. Certainly Spilsby is of pre 7th century Viking origins, deriving from the 7th century personal name "Spillir" meaning literally "a bit of a lad", and "bi," a farm". Both Lincolnshire, parts of Yorkshire and Lancashire were particulary influenced by Viking culture, being under their control from the 7th to the 11th century. Early examples of the surname recordings include Jane Spibey married at St. Pancras Old Church, in the city of London to Richard Smith on May 15th 1561, and Richard Spibbe, christened at Croston, Lancashire, on January 9th 1670. Other examples are those of William Spybee also of Croston, and christened there on February 7th 1690, whilst on July 2nd 1700, at the village of Bedford also in Lancashire, Jenet Spybey married Jeremiah Lythgoe. 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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