This interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from some minor or unrecorded place, perhaps a "lost" village. There are an estimated seven to ten thousand villages and hamlets that have now disappeared from Britain since the 12th Century; the prime cause of these "disappearances" was the enforced "clearing" and dispersal of the former inhabitants to make way for sheep pastures at the height of the wool-trade in the 15th Century, and natural causes such as the Black Death of 1348, in which an eighth of the population perished. The original place is believed to have been in the Lincolnshire-Norfolk area because of the number of early recordings found there. The derivation of the placename is believed to be the Olde English pre 7th Century "timber", timber, wood, or the personal name "Tima" (also found in Timworth), and "by", settlement, homestead, village; hence, "Tima's homestead", or "settlement by timber". In the modern idiom the surname can be found as Timby, Timeby and Temby. Recordings of the surname from English Church Registers include: the marriage of Dorothye Timbye and Robert Roe on October 26th 1578, at Martham, Norfolk; the marriage of William Timeby and Anne Newcome at Waddington, Lincolnshire, on October 14th 1595; and the christening of Richard, son of John and Elizabeth Timby on May 17th 1695, at Horsey, Norfolk. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Tembe, which was dated July 14th 1565, a christening witness at Barrow upon Humber, Lincolnshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "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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