This is a Norse-Viking name from the 8th century A.D and derives from 'suor-i-by' meaning one who was resident at the farm (I By) to the South (suor) of the village, similar locational names being Westuby, Norbury and Easterby. In this case there are three modern spellings, Sotheby, Sutherby and Suddaby, the latter retaining the Olde English 'dd' which was formerly pronounced 'th' - and is still in Welsh. The name development has included John Suthiby (1297 Yorkshire) William Sothybe (1497 Yorkshire) John Suddebe (1516 Yorkshire) and John Sotheby (1674 Suffolk).The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Stephen de Sottebi, which was dated 1194, in the Yorkshire County Pipe Rolls, during the reign of King Richard 1, known as the Lionheart, 1189 - 1199. 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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